By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
COLUMBUS – A Columbus woman and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics are at odds about what happened to a safe deposit box full of her jewelry she claims they took during a federal investigation of a notorious 2006 drug-scheme roundup.
Mona Ahmed, through her attorney Jeremy Gordon of Waxahachie, Texas, says the jewelry has not been returned to her.
Jackie R. Bost II, a senior attorney for MBN, says agents who took control of the bank box assure him there was no jewelry.
Ahmed and Gordon filed a motion in circuit court of Lowndes County this week asking the court to order MBN to return all jewelry seized from her Jan. 23, 2007.
“Our position is that no jewelry was seized from the safe deposit box,” Bost told Gordon in a March 29 email. “The only jewelry seized was seized from a residence, and that jewelry was returned to Ms. Ahmed.”
He told Gordon MBN has a receipt for that jewelry with Ahmed’s signature.
Bost said Friday he hopes to get the case before a judge soon to settle the dispute.
Ahmed’s new court document claims replacement value of the jewelry exceeds $50,000. Attached is a lengthy list signed by MBN and bank officials after the bank box was drilled and its contents removed.
Included on the list are bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings – all mostly made of gold or gold in color. Legal papers and passports also were in the box.
Federal court records show Mona Ahmed, cited as Muna Ahmed, was among a dozen people indicted in August 2006, accused of various illegal activities associated with distributing pseudoephedrine to make methamphetamine.
The charges were sealed until they became public Jan. 11, 2007.
All the defendants had surnames of Middle Eastern origin and many were associated with convenience stores in the region.
Ahmed, now 32, was charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and trafficking in contraband cigarettes.
She pleaded guilty in February 2008 and was sentenced to three years probation on each count, to run at the same time, and was ordered to pay a $12,000 fine, $108 restitution and other fees.
Her supervision ended in April 2011.
Her attorney, Gordon, insists that when all sides agreed to settle her case, MBN was required to return “all non-drug items” in its possession.
According to bank records, he says, “two MBN officers did in fact seize numerous items of gold jewelry” from her bank box.