Former Albuquerque hotel manager sentenced for role in kickback scheme

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A former southeast Albuquerque hotel manager will serve nearly five years in prison for turning the hotel into a drug den. Federal authorities say Kamal Bhula, 44, benefited from a kickback scheme at Best Choice Inn between 2018 and 2019. The feds say the scheme requires drug traffickers to pay a fee if they want to use the hotel as a sanctuary.

Officials say Bhula will likely face deportation to South Africa if convicted. Co-defendants Pragneshkumar Patel and Jonathan Craft were sentenced last month for parts of the scheme. They were sentenced to 70 and 30 months in prison respectively.

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