Thirteen Lower Mainland residents have been charged with a total of 66 drugs- and firearm-related offences after a 21-month long investigation into drug trafficking in Surrey.
In June 2013, the Surrey RCMP Drug Section started an investigation of a “loosely associated trafficking group based out of Surrey,” said Insp. Wade Lymburner at a press conference in Surrey Friday morning.
“The criminal activity was concentrated in Surrey and throughout the Lower Mainland,” Lymburner said.
The group was also active on Vancouver Island as well as in the B.C. Interior.
Undercover evidence purchases from the suspects took place between December 2013 until the fall of 2014.
On Sept. 5, 2014, Surrey RCMP executed eight search warrants, four of them in Surrey. The items seized included cash, drugs and weapons.
According to Lymburner, the activities of the group involved low-to mid-level drug trafficking, but he noted this specific seizure was significant.
Police seized large amounts of counterfeit oxycodone, MDMA, fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as more than $66,000 in cash. Weapons seized were two automatic submachine guns and a handgun, as well as five loaded high capacity magazines and a box of ammunition.
On March 9, 66 charges were sworn against 13 individuals. Of the charged, eight were arrested and five remain at-large.
Surrey residents Sophon Sek and Glen Hudson, and Burnaby resident Mona Khodabandehloo, face more than 30 counts of trafficking, four counts of possession of controlled drugs and seven firearms-related charges.
Sek, who is still in custody and will appear in court April 9, was charged in 2009 for manslaughter in the Surrey Six murders. He now has 20 new charges against him in relation to the drug investigation.
Lymburner couldn’t say if Sek was the leader of this group.
“He was one of several people up at the top. We encountered him near the end.”
The others facing charges include: Surrey residents Daniel Cluett (four counts of trafficking and one count of breach of undertaking) and Francis Le (one count of trafficking); and Delta resident Dylan Herman (two counts of trafficking).
Le will appear in court March 31, and Hudson and Herman will appear in court April 1. Cluett and Khodabandehloo are due in court April 30.
Two teens were also charged in relation to the investigation. One is still in custody and the other was released by the court. They can’t be named under provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Arrest warrants have been issued for the other five involved: Sonny Nguyen of Surrey (one count of trafficking); Harjoot Singh Garg of Surrey (two counts of trafficking); Andres Naranjo of Surrey (three counts of trafficking); Lester Ray of Burnaby (two counts of trafficking); and Yaeil Jang of Port Coquitlam (five counts of trafficking).
Lymburner He said the investigation was not related to the to the March 18 drug bust at the Town and Country trailer park in Newton.