- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for Four Defendants Charged in Connection With Major Black-Market Marijuana and Tobacco Trafficking Operation
Thomas Dalton, Deputy Press Secretary
BOSTON — Four men have been arraigned in connection with a major state and federal investigation into a large-scale organization illegally trafficking unregulated marijuana, tobacco, and flavored vaping products out of Woburn and into stores across the state and in New York, and New Hampshire, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
The charges are the result of a year-long investigation into a major multi-level organization based in Woburn that illegally trafficked marijuana and THC-infused products, including some that contained traces of fentanyl, and distributed untaxed, black-market tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products—the majority of which were counterfeit and flavored, in violation of the state’s ban on flavored tobacco and ENDS products —into commercial businesses across the region. Unregulated counterfeit tobacco and marijuana products could pose a danger to those who use them.
Samuel Habib, 43, of Stratham, New Hampshire, was arraigned Wednesday in Middlesex Superior Court on the charges of Trafficking in Marijuana, Possession of Fentanyl with Intent to Distribute, Possession of THC with Intent to Distribute (4 counts), Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute (2 counts), Distribution of THC and Distribution of Marijuana. First Assistant Clerk Magistrate Daniel Flaherty set bail at $25,000 cash with the condition that Habib surrender his passport. Habib was previously arrested in June 2021 and arraigned in connection with this investigation on the charges of Trafficking in Marijuana and Tax Evasion related to distribution of untaxed tobacco and ENDS products. Habib’s case is next scheduled for a pretrial scheduling on September 30.
Fadi Laioun, 37, of Las Vegas, Nevada, and Charles Fisher, 43, of Kingston, New Hampshire, were arraigned in connection with the investigation on July 28 in Essex Superior Court. Laioun was arraigned on the charge of Trafficking in Marijuana. Fisher was arraigned on the charges of Trafficking in Marijuana, Carrying a Firearm, Carrying a Loaded Firearm, Possession of a Firearm During a Felony, and Possession of Ammunition without an FID card. Judge Thomas Drechsler set bail for Fisher at $15,000 cash and Laioun at $5,000 cash. Laioun and Fisher are due back in Essex Superior Court on September 27.
Jason Stock, 44, of Binghamton, New York, is scheduled to be arraigned on August 17 in Worcester Superior Court on the charges of Trafficking in Marijuana and Possession of THC with Intent to Distribute.
Habib, Laioun, Fisher and Stock were indicted on the latest charges on May 20 by a Statewide Grand Jury.
Habib’s 2021 arrest followed a takedown involving multiple law enforcement agencies executing search warrants at multiple commercial facilities in Massachusetts, as well as locations in New York and New Hampshire. During the takedown, authorities seized approximately 750 pounds of marijuana, 250 cases of illegal vapes, 200 cases of THC-infused products, approximately $540,000 in cash, four cargo vans, and one luxury SUV.
This investigation is ongoing. These charges are allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Joseph R. Posner of AG Healey’s White Collar and Public Integrity Division and the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab. This case is being investigated by Massachusetts State Police (MSP) assigned to the AG’s Office and the Illegal Tobacco Task Force, with assistance from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, MSP Narcotics Inspection Unit, MSP Troop A CAT, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, MSP Crime Scene Services, MSP Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Section, the New Hampshire State Police, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, the New York State Police, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Woburn Police Department, the Stoneham Police Department, and the Eliot, Maine Police Department.