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New York City Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj accepted campaign cash from two suspects named in gun, drug trafficking case

September 13, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
New York City Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj accepted campaign cash from two suspects named in gun, drug trafficking case

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Bronx Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj accepted campaign donations from two men charged with money laundering in connection with drug trafficking and plotting to smuggle AK-47s and a rocket launcher to Kosovo.

Martin Shkreli and Xhevat Gocaj gave campaign money to Mark Gjonaj through his Assembly and City Council accounts, according to the New York Post.

Both are identified in an indictment filed in Brooklyn federal court alleging they took part in extortion, money laundering and drug trafficking conspiracy that led to the undercover sale of machine guns, an anti-tank rocket launcher and a rocket to undercover federal agents.

Albert Veliu (pictured) is among eight defendants charged with money laundering, extortion, and international arms trafficking after he was caught trying to sell the weapons to an undercover agent

Shkreli, who resides in Bedford, NY gave $1,000 to Gjonaj through his City Council campaign committee on March 10th.

The man is accused of providing “clean” checks to launder money for Andre Veliu, who is also identified in a July 26th indictment for selling the rocket launcher and machine guns.

Court records filed in June indicated that Veliu bragged about his cousin Alex Rudaj, who is “recognized as the leader of Albanian organized crime in New York.”

Veliu was caught trying to sell more than a dozen AK-47s and an anti-tank rocket launcher in Kosovo (pictured are some of the recovered weapons from the deal)

Gocaj and Veliu purportedly discussed laundering cash during a wiretapped call.

On Tuesday, Gjonaj is facing off against Marjorie Velazquez and John Doyle for a seat on the Bronx Council.

Gjonaj spokesperson Jennifer Blatus said: “Mark Gjonaj is focused on making his case to voters of how he will fight for their interests.”

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