Postal Inspectors Earn Drug Enforcement awards
Special Agent Sean Grillo Postal Inspectors Sean Grillo, Phil Garn, and Joe Casciotta recently received national recognition for their outstanding contributions to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and Asset Forfeiture Program.
Inspector Grillo received individual recognition for his commitment to the Asset Forfeiture Program in the Pittsburgh area where he repeatedly used the forfeiture of cash and money orders to successfully combat illegal drug activity. Inspector Grillo played a particularly large role in the apprehension of Mark Hill, Michael Frawley,and three other defendants. By using the Postal Inspection Service money laundering database, Inspector Grillo helped turn a simple case that began with the interception of a three-kilogram parcel of cocaine into the seizure of more than $257,000 in cash, 17 kilograms of cocaine, and more than 200 pounds of marijuana.
Inspector Garn was recognized for his work in Operation Gear Grinder, which targeted a major drug syndicate affiliate as well as eight Mexican manufacturing companies that were supplying more than 80 percent of the anabolic steroids seized in the United States. With unprecedented support from the Mexican government, confidential sources were able to record face-to-face meetings with owners of the steroid manufacturing companies and provide irrefutable evidence that the owners’
e-mail accounts were being used for trafficking.
In addition, the Operation Gear Grinder team obtained a list of thousands of U.S. customers who had been ordering the steroids and whose identities were then provided to law enforcement agencies across the country. The investigation tracked more than $2.3 million in illicit proceeds and led to $1 million in seizures.
Inspector Casciotta received recognition for his work in Operation Carlito’s Way. The operation involved prosecution of the Bansal Drug Trafficking Organization, led by father and son Brij and Akhil Bansal. The duo used Internet websites to distribute controlled prescription drugs. Akhil Bansal oversaw operations in Philadelphia while his father managed the enterprise in India.
Operation Carlito’s Way resulted in the indictment of 20 defendants charged with drug and money launder ing offenses. More than $8 million was seized from 32 domestic and 10 foreign banks in accounts located in England, the Bailiwick of Jersey, Isle of Man, Ireland, Cyprus, Singapore, Switzerland, Antigua, Nevis, and India. The team seized more than 10 million dos-
ages of pharmaceutical drugs and 108 kilograms of ketamine.