SANTA ANA (CNS) - A convicted terrorist was sentenced today to nearly 16 years in federal prison for selling methamphetamine to an undercover agent while he was out of custody.
Ahmed Binyamin Alasiri, 45, of Garden Grove, pleaded guilty in October to a count of distribution of methamphetamine. U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney sentenced Alasiri, also known as Kevin Lamar James, to 188 months in federal prison.
Alasiri sold 1,742 grams of the drug on three separate occasions to an undercover agent in July and August of 2020, according to prosecutors. Alasiri met the agent in June 2020 and they became roommates.
On July 24, 2020, Alasiri sold the undercover agent 430 grams of methamphetamine for $3,700, and he sold 430 grams for $3,700 on Aug. 6 of that year. On Aug. 20, 2020, he sold 877 grams of methamphetamine to the agency for $7,400.
Alasiri boasted to the agent, ``I have connections to every single drug you can imagine,'' prosecutors said.
Alasiri ``has a lengthy criminal history that dates back over 30 years,'' according to a sentencing brief from prosecutors.
Alasiri was behind bars ``from 1996 to 2019, because of offenses he committed while in prison that added custodial time to his original sentence,'' prosecutors said.
While behind bars on robbery he was convicted of possessing a deadly weapon, prosecutors said.
``While in state custody for weapons possession, he conspired to levy war against the United States,'' prosecutors said.
Alasiri could have faced more time behind bars, but two years for violating terms of his release will run concurrent with the main sentence, prosecutors said.
Alasiri was ``raised by a single mother, who managed to provide for his basic needs,'' prosecutors said. He grew up in a neighborhood that was the ``birthplace'' of an infamous street gang, and when he was 11 he joined the gang when he was attacked by a rival gang member who assumed he was already in the gang, prosecutors said.
``It appears that gang membership in his neighborhood was essential for survival,'' prosecutors said.
When Alasiri was out of custody most recently ``he was industrious and able to obtain employment,'' prosecutors said.
``He started in part-time positions and became a security supervisor, working full time in the seven months leading up to his arrest,'' prosecutors said.
Given his checkered past, his ability to get a job was ``noteworthy and surprising,'' prosecutors said.
Alasiri was providing for his ``significant other, who is suffering with mental health and substance abuse issues,'' prosecutors said.
But the defendant's ``criminal history reflects a troubled individual who committed dangerous crimes,'' prosecutors said.
At the time he was peddling drugs, Alasiri was on supervised release following serving a 16-year prison sentence for conspiring to levy war against the U.S. through terrorism. The defendant's co-conspirators in the terrorism case robbed multiple gas stations to raise funds for planned attacks on U.S. military operations and Israeli and Jewish facilities in Southern California, prosecutors said.