Six Charged with Importing 230,000 Ecstasy Pills from Canada
PHILADELPHIA – James M. Kasson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA's Philadelphia Division and United States Attorney Pat Meehan today announced the filing of two separate indictments charging six people in connection with schemes to import more than 230,000 ecstasy pills laced with methamphetamine into the United States from Canada.
In the first case, investigated by DEA, Thi Luyen Le, Vinh Gia Hiep Nguyen, and Maurice Evans, are charged with importation and distribution of ecstasy and methamphetamine and money laundering. In March 2006, the defendants imported about 130,520 pills for distribution in Philadelphia. The defendants then arranged to make a $500,000 payment to their supplier in Canada.
“Agents disrupted the money flow and drug proceeds returning to Canada and denied the sources of supply the profits that they anticipated,” said Kasson. “This seizure disrupted the organization’s means to support their current infrastructure and exposed their methods of operation.”
“Ecstasy and methamphetamine are each, on their own, very dangerous. The combination of the two is explosive,” said Meehan. “We are talking about long-term effects that ruin lives and tear apart families, which is why we work so hard with the DEA and other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to keep both drugs, combined or sold separately, off the street.”
The investigation of these defendants and their international based drug trafficking organizations was part of Operation Root Canal and Operation Medicine Man, which had a direct impact on both the Pennsylvania-based distributors and their Canadian source of supply.
In the second case, investigated by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement with assistance from DEA, Sok Ly Meach, Tri V. Nguyen, and Doai Nguyen Le, are charged with conspiracy to import and distribute and attempt to possess ecstasy, methamphetamine, and marijuana. A supplier in Canada made arrangements with the defendants to sell them approximately 100,000 pills containing ecstasy, methamphetamine, and marijuana. On March 11, 2006, Meach transported the pills in his van across the Canadian border into the United States. On March 13, Meach (who had by then, and unbeknownst to his co-defendants, begun to cooperate with law enforcement) took $20,000 from Nguyen and Le for delivery of the pills.