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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947
    thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov



    Return to the 2008 Press Release Index
    Release No. 08-131

    September 30, 2008

    FEDERAL AUTHORITIES DISMANTLE DRUG-TRAFFICKING RING THAT SHIPPED NARCOTICS BETWEEN CANADA AND U.S.

    Concluding a two-year investigation dubbed “Operation Candystore,” members of a federal task force this morning arrested seven defendants linked to a binational drug-trafficking organization that allegedly imported ecstasy and marijuana from Canada and sent cocaine to Canada from the United States.

    About a month ago, a federal grand jury in Santa Ana returned two indictments that outline the activities of an organization allegedly overseen in the United States by Jason I. Ming Wei, a Canadian national who is charged in the main case. Both indictments charge Nathanael Garrard Lineham, who runs a company called Data Locking (dba beStealth) and allegedly used and distributed encrypted Blackberries to facilitate drug trafficking.

    Operation Candystore was conducted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). After being initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Beverly Hills Police Department participated in the investigation. During the investigation, authorities seized money and narcotics, including a 60-kilogram shipment of cocaine and a 35-kilogram shipment of cocaine.

    One indictment names 17 defendants and alleges a total of eight counts – conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute ecstasy, cocaine and methamphetamine; two counts of possession with intent to distribute ecstasy; three counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; and money laundering.

    The second indictment, which alleges ecstasy trafficking and money laundering, names two defendants from the main case and one additional defendant, meaning that Operation Candystore has led to federal charges against 18 defendants. Those charged as a result of the investigation are:

    Jason I. Ming Wei, 30, a Canadian citizen who resides in Temple City and who was arrested Sunday night at Los Angeles International Airport while preparing to board a flight to Canada (Wei made his initial court appearance yesterday, where he was ordered held without bond and an arraignment was scheduled for October 8)

    Jerry Fanyuan Lin, 32, of Temple City, who allegedly obtained narcotics from Wei and had his own distribution network;

    Ren Sui, aka “Jeffrey,” 31, of Rosemead, who allegedly acted for a time as a middleman facilitating drug deals between Lin and an undercover FBI agent;

    Erik Damien Vicente, 41, of Baldwin Park, who allegedly supplied Lin with methamphetamine;

    Jose G. Garibay, aka “Guero,” 28, of La Puente, who allegedly supplied methamphetamine to Vicente;

    Shane Kelter, 31, of Vancouver, Canada, who allegedly oversaw Wei in relation to drug smuggling between the United States and Canada;

    Adrian Garcia De Alba, aka “Pedro,” 31, of Canyon Lake, who allegedly was a drug courier;

    Jagmohan S. Dhillon, 35, of Toronto, Canada, who allegedly transported narcotics from the United States to Canada on behalf of Wei;

    Paramijt Singh, aka “Pumma,” 32, of Toronto, Canada, who allegedly helped facilitate the transportation of Wei’s cocaine to Canada;

    Walther Edgardo Orellana Aguilar, aka “Sharky,” 28, of Vancouver, Canada and Los Angeles, who allegedly helped distribute Wei’s cocaine in Canada;

    Fausto Villa Perez, 49, of Santa Ana, who allegedly helped distribute cocaine on behalf of Wei;

    Ming Chien Hsieh, aka “Sonny,” 24, of San Gabriel, who allegedly distributed narcotics for Lin;

    Hong Yee Chow, aka “Annie,” 28, of Rowland Heights, who is Lin’s girlfriend;

    Marco Antonio Silva Mota, 35, of Los Angeles, who allegedly supplied methamphetamine to Vicente;

    Alexander Chiang Pou, aka “Alex,” 19, of Santa Barbara, a University of California, Santa Barbara student, who allegedly was involved in a series of drug transactions with Lin;

    Nathanael Garrard Lineham, 39, of Newport Beach, who is charged in both indictments and in the second indictment is charged with conspiracy to distribute ecstasy and conspiracy to launder money;

    Michelle Enck, 39, of Santa Monica, who along with Lineham is charged in both indictments; and

    John Wark, aka “Keith,” 39, of Vancouver, Canada, who is charged with Lineham and Enck in the second indictment.

    The defendants arrested this morning are Lin, Lineham, Enck, Garibay, Perez, Hsieh and Pou, and they are expected to make their initial appearances this afternoon in United States District Court in Santa Ana. The other domestic defendants are being sought by authorities. The United States expects to file provisional arrest warrants against the Canadian defendants in the coming days.

    If convicted of the charges in the indictments, most of the defendants would face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in federal prison.

    An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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    Release No. 08-131
    Return to the 2008 Press Release Index