A Surrey man has been convicted of drug and gun crimes related to a methamphetamine smuggling operation between here and New Zealand.
Justice Bruce Greyell convicted Quang Dong Nguyen on five counts, in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.
The judge found that in Surrey, elsewhere in B.C. and in New Zealand, Nguyen conspired with Linh Hoang and persons unknown to produce and export methamphetamine, and that he illegally possessed a 9 mm calibre Intratec model AB-10 handgun and a cartridge magazine capable of holding 30 rounds of ammo, without a licence.
The court heard that on Dec. 11, 2012 a brown cardboard box containing a dozen Monroe-brand automative shock absorbers was delivered to a FedEx courier facility in Vancouver, destined to be delivered to Aukland, New Zealand. Two Canadian Border Services Agency officers, who were at the facility checking outgoing packages, discovered it.
“The officers were particularly interested in exports going to Australasia as the CBSA had made a number of previous narcotics seizures destined to that area and considered the cardboard box to be suspicious,” Greyell noted.
The court heard the CBSA officers found methamphetamine, wrapped in black plastic, inside the package. The shock absorbers had been cut open, hollowed out, filled with methamphetamine wrapped in plastic, welded shut and repainted to match the original colour.
The shock absorbers, containing 2,661.6 grams of methamphetamine, were turned over to the RCMP, who then contacted police in New Zealand.
Three days later, the CBSA seized a second package containing 3,889 grams of metamphetamine also destined for New Zealand, and again police in that country were notified.
Hoang was convicted in New Zealand of conspiring to import, manufacture and supply methamphetamine. The court heard New Zealand authorities did wiretap surveillance on some phone numbers in that country and shared them with the RCMP. The investigation led to police executing a search warrant on Nguyen’s residence in Newton, from which documents and other items were seized.