TORONTO, March 20 /CNW/ - The RCMP Criminal Organization Marihuana
Enforcement Team (COMET) and the Toronto Police Service Drug Squad Clan Lab
Team, in a combined effort, have charged four people with drug-related
offences in relation to an international drug organization located in the
Greater Toronto Area.
This investigation, dubbed Project "OCUJO", stemmed from an international
effort in partnership with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) targeting the criminal enterprise involved in Marihuana Grow Operations
(MGO). This criminal organization was involved in both the domestic and
trans-border trade of marihuana to the United States and the subsequent return
of the proceeds back to Canada.
Arrested and charged with drug-related offences are:
1. Van Nhan TIEU, age 50 of Toronto, Ontario
2. Thi Hang TRINH, age 33 of Mississauga, Ontario
3. Thang Trieu PHUNG, age 34 of Mississauga, Ontario
4. David Pham, age 22 of Oakville
Yesterday, members of COMET and the Toronto Police Service Clan Lab Team
executed twelve (12) search warrants and seized the following:
- Sixty (60) pounds of marihuana
- Eight (8) kilograms of Ketamine
- Three vehicles
- 130 cases of cigarettes
- $180,000 cash
- $100,000 money order
In addition to yesterday's seizure, during the course of the
investigation, an additional 219 pounds of marihuana was seized.
The U.S Drug Enforcement Agency have also arrested and charged 2 people
in relation to this criminal organization. The arrests were the direct result
of inter-agency cooperation.
"The success of this investigation further illustrates our intention to
challenge the criminal enterprises behind the marihuana grow operation
industry that exists within Canada," stated Insp. Rick Penney, Officer in
Charge of Operations at the GTA Drug Section. "Project OCUJO's primary
function was to identify and target persons and organized groups involved in
international cross border marihuana trade in partnership with local and U.S.
Enforcement Agencies. This is but one example of the focussed efforts of COMET
in cooperation with our municipal enforcement partners to identify organized
crime groups that exist locally and who often practise their unlawful trade
both domestically and internationally."
Staff Inspector Donald Campbell, Unit Commander of the Toronto Police
Drug Squad, said, "The illegal exportation of narcotics can occur in any
jurisdiction as these arrests have shown. No police service can work alone.
For this reason, partnerships are essential. This is an excellent example of
the Toronto Police Services continuing efforts to create safer communities by
working with our law enforcement partners to combat the international narcotic
All accused were scheduled to appear at Old City Hall on Thursday,
March 20th, 2008 room 101 at 10:00 a.m.
For further information please direct your enquiries to:
D/Insp. Rick Penney, OIC Operations GTA Drug Section
Staff Inspector Donald Campbell, Unit Commander, Toronto Police Drug
Squad, at 416-808-6113, email@example.com
For further information:
For further information: Cpl. Marc LaPorte, "O" Division Media Relations
Office, (519) 640-7302 office, (519) 630-9791 mobile