CANADIAN NATIONALS ARRESTED WITH MORE THAN 400 LBS. OF ECSTASY
Agents Moved in Offering “Help” as Defendants Attempted to Pull Boat from Water with Undersized Trailer
Four men were arrested October 20, 2006 at Freshwater Bay, west of Port Angeles, Washington as they tried to pull a 24' boat from the water with a boat trailer that was too small. Inside the boat agents found hockey bags with approximately 465 pounds of “Ecstasy,” the street name for methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("MDMA"). Following the arrests in the Western District of Washington, three additional conspirators were arrested in Los Angeles, California and Houston, Texas.
Three of the men first came to the attention of law enforcement in the Bellingham area driving a rental car with Oregon license plates. The vehicle was under surveillance as the men traveled to Port Angeles. The group stopped at various rental car agencies and at boat launch areas in the Port Angeles area. The men returned to the Bellingham area and rented a truck and purchased a trailer hitch and a boat trailer. Then they drove back to Port Angeles.
On October 20, 2006, the men drove the truck and trailer out to the Freshwater Bay boat ramp. They attempted to pull a 24' Maxum inboard/outboard boat from the water. The boat had just arrived in the area driven by a fourth man. Because the trailer was too small for the boat, the trailer and the rental truck became submerged in the water. The surveillance agents helped the men pull the boat, truck and trailer from the water.
After the agents identified themselves as law enforcement, they got dramatically different stories from each suspect as to where they had come from and what they were doing. A Clallam County Superior Court Judge authorized searches of the boat, and inside agents found five hockey bags and a suitcase with 465 pounds of Ecstasy. The driver of the boat indicated he had crossed into the U.S. from Canada. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has no crossing records for the boat.
KA WAI ANDY CHEUNG, WING HO JIMMY HO, KING YIN PETER FONG, and YING WAI WONG, residents of Vancouver, British Columbia are charged with Conspiracy to Import Ecstasy and Possession with Intent to Distribute Ecstasy. The drugs were destined for Los Angeles and Houston, Texas. In Los Angeles agents arrested one man and are seeking a second suspect . In Houston, agents arrested TUI BUI and NAHN HOANG NGUYEN, both of Houston.
All four defendants charged in the Western District of Washington are being held at the Federal Detention Center at Sea-Tac.
Charging papers, such as a complaint, contain allegations that have not yet been proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and Olympic Penninsula Narcotic Enforcement Team (OPNET) along with other agencies. Assistant United States Attorney’s John J. Lulejian and Matthew H. Thomas are prosecuting the case.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.