A British man who conspired to import 100 kilograms of methamphetamine from North Korea into the United States pled guilty Thursday in Manhattan federal court. Scott Stammers, 46, must serve at least 10 years in prison as part of his plea deal, but faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to a Department of Justice statement.
Prosecutors said that Stammers was involved in scheme to transport nearly-pure methamphetamine from North Korea on two different occasions, in 2012 and 2013. For the second scheme, Stammers and others had planned to ship the drugs to Thailand and ultimately to New York.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney announces guilty plea in conspiracy to import 100 kilos of North Korean meth into the US http://t.co/na9PjkHq4y
— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) August 27, 2015
Stammers, along with his co-conspirators, had planned to take the drugs to a warehouse in 2013 so they could be prepared to be shipped from Thailand to New York, according to prosecutors. For his part, Stammers was to provide security, transportation and storage for the drugs, the government said. Thai law enforcement intervened and arrested Stammers and four others in September 2013 before the drugs could be shipped to the United States.
"Thanks to the work of the DEA and the cooperation of law enforcement partners around the world, including in Thailand, Liberia and Romania, Stammers' scheme ended, not with the North Korean methamphetamine flooding American streets as he had intended, but rather with a guilty plea in a Manhattan federal court." said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement.
Stammers faces a maximum sentence of life and prison. His sentencing date has not yet been set.
Three others involved have also pled guilty for the same charge as Stammers. The remaining defendant, Phillip Shackels, 32, is also charged with conspiracy to import methamphetamine into the United States and is scheduled to stand trial Sept. 21.
The investigation was the result of a multi-agency collaboration between United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York; DEA’s Special Operations Division, Bilateral Investigations Unit; and DEA’s Bangkok, Manila, Ghana, Pretoria, Bucharest, Nassau, and Copenhagen Country Offices.