LOS ANGELES – Five alleged members of an international drug trafficking ring based in the San Gabriel Valley were arrested today on a 27-count federal grand jury indictment charging them with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Two of the defendants also have been charged with maintaining a drug premises where the methamphetamine was stored and packaged. Specifically, the defendants are engaged in the mailing and shipping of methamphetamine from Los Angeles County to New Zealand and Australia.
The following defendants were arrested this morning are scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow in United States District Court in Santa Ana:
- Yangqiang Chen, 45, of Monterey Park;
- Jie Chen, 40, of Rosemead;
- MeiMei Chen, 41, of Rosemead;
- Guorong He, 50 of Rosemead; and
- Yien He, 32, of Rosemead.
Zuxing Lin, 44, of Rosemead is currently a fugitive. Xingyun Chen, 54, is currently in Louisiana in immigration custody.
As part of this investigation, law enforcement has seized 91 packages of methamphetamine destined for foreign countries. In those packages, law enforcement seized almost 200 kilograms of methamphetamine. The value of the drugs seized, if sold in Australia and New Zealand, exceeds $20 million, according to law enforcement estimates.
During search warrants executed today at three locations in Rosemead and Monterey Park, law enforcement seized approximately 40 pounds of methamphetamine, more than $100,000 in cash, and more than 1,000 gift cards from various retailers.
According to the indictment returned on Tuesday, defendants Yangqiang Chen and Jie Chen ordered and received items from online retailers, such as spools of 3D printing filament, utility cases, wine opener sets, and drive shafts, for use in concealing methamphetamine in international shipments to foreign drug customers.
Zuxing Lin, Meimei Chen, Xingyun Chen, Guorong He, and Yien He packaged the methamphetamine, at a residence in Monterey Park and elsewhere, for delivery to foreign drug customers. Yangqiang Chen, Zuxing Lin, Meimei Chen, Xingyun Chen, and Yien He delivered the packages containing methamphetamine to UPS stores and international shipping companies so they could be shipped to foreign drug customers.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
If convicted of all charges, each defendant would face a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
The FBI; the Drug Enforcement Administration; Homeland Security Investigations; IRS Criminal Investigation; the Los Angeles Police Department; the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; and the United States Postal Inspection Service are investigating this matter.
This case is the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, FBI, DEA, and IRS. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, firearms trafficking, and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. OCDETF uses an intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Waier of the Santa Ana Branch Office is prosecuting this case.