[New York Post] – One was the drug-trafficking leader of a South American death squad. The other is a former airline baggage handler now serving a life sentence for drug running.
Shaheed “Roger” Khan and Victor Bourne are just a few in a rogues gallery of possible witnesses whose stories or testimony will figure into the upcoming trial of Brooklyn state Sen. John Sampson.
Sampson, the former Democratic leader of the Senate, is accused of obstructing justice, witness and evidence tampering and lying to an FBI agent. His trial is expected to begin June 22 in Brooklyn federal court.
Aside from the druglords, others on the list of people who will testify or whose names might come up at trial are Congressman Gregory Meeks of Queens and Paul Rivera, a political operative with strong ties to the Clintons.
The names were listed in the questionnaire given to potential jurors in the case. Rivera, a former top aide to Sampson, worked in the Clinton White House and formed the pro-Hillary Rodham Clinton American Leadership Project in the 2008 Democratic primary.
There are also several Sampson confidants, state workers and a businessman with whom Sampson was a secret partner in a Brooklyn liquor store.
Another businessman, Edul Ahmad, was convicted in a mortgage-fraud scheme and will figure prominently in the trial. He cooperated with prosecutors and wore a wire in the Sampson case.
Ahmad, a Guyanese immigrant and real-estate broker, funneled cash to Meeks and Sampson. He pleaded guilty in October 2012 to mortgage fraud but has yet to be sentenced.
Ahmad gave his longtime pal Sampson $188,500 in 2006 to repay funds the senator allegedly embezzled from escrow accounts he supervised as a lawyer in private practice.
Sampson was charged with embezzlement in 2013, but the charges were dismissed last year because the statute of limitations had expired. Sampson, 49, who has been in the Senate since 1997, is also accused of trying to lean on a mole in the US Attorney’s Office to learn the names of those cooperating in the Ahmad case and telling Ahmad he could arrange to “take them out,” legal papers say.
Sampson is of Guyanese heritage and traveled to Guyana frequently, sometimes meeting Ahmad. Khan is alleged to have headed a squad in Guyana that murdered hundreds of people, including government opponents.
Khan pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court in 2009 in a cocaine-trafficking scheme. His lawyer, Robert Simels, was convicted of witness tampering and other charges in the case.
Less clear is any link the senator has to Bourne, a native of Barbados who for years ran the “Bourne Organization” to smuggle cocaine from the Caribbean to the United States by hiding it in planes or baggage.
He was convicted in 2012. Sampson’s lawyer would not comment on the druglords. A US Attorney’s Office spokeswoman also declined to comment.