Bad guys getting arrested for trafficking chocolate sounds like a whimsical bedtime story you’d tell your kids, but this actually happened. Thirty-three members of a New York City-based Russian organized crime group have been indicted for theft and trafficking of “a shipment containing approximately 10,000 pounds of chocolate confections,” a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said.
“The dizzying array of criminal schemes committed by this organized crime syndicate,” a statement from acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim indicated, “allegedly include a murder-for-hire conspiracy, a plot to rob victims by seducing and drugging them with chloroform, the theft of cargo shipments containing over 10,000 pounds of chocolate, and a fraud on casino slot machines using electronic hacking devices.”
Members of the crime syndicate — which operated outposts in New York City, Nevada, and Florida — have also been charged with racketeering, extortion, robbery, murder-for-hire conspiracy, fraud, narcotics, and firearms offenses. That’s a long list. Seven suspects currently remain at large, the FBI says. All are alleged to be members of the Shulaya Enterprise, a crime organization with links to the former Soviet Union, particularly Russia and Ukraine.
If convicted, each alleged criminal faces decades in prison.