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Tangled Tale of How Private Spy Firm Helped the Feds Bust An Afghan Heroin Trafficker and Got Screwed

Well, as the old addage goes, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. In this case, the spy firm, Rosetta Research and Consulting, helped the feds make their case, then got screwed.

Feds Hold Press Conference in 2005 After Arrest of Noorza/dea photo

Feds Hold Press Conference in 2005 After Arrest of Noorza/dea photo

By Richard Leiby
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — After a federal jury in New York swiftly convicted a major Afghan heroin trafficker and Taliban supporter named Haji Bashir Noorzai, the government promptly issued the usual celebratory news release thanking the men and women of the DEA and FBI for their “countless sacrifices” in making the case.
Left out was any credit to the party most responsible for the government’s victory: an unusual three-man private intelligence firm called Rosetta Research and Consulting.
At the instigation of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Rosetta agents lured Noorzai to America and delivered him right into the feds’ hands. He spent 11 days in an Embassy Suites Hotel in Manhattan in 2005, enjoying room service and considering himself a guest of the U.S. government — until he was arrested. He was imprisoned for three years awaiting his trial, which concluded in September. He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced in January.
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