A Langley man is one of six accused of being part of a cocaine and ecstasy importing ring that led police from Princeton to South America.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. (CFSEU) has announced charges against Jeremy Albert Stark, 38, of Langley, along with Khamla Wong, a 42-year-old formerly of Abbotsford. Both are charged with one count of conspiracy to import 97 kilograms of cocaine and possession of a firearm.
Wong remains at large.
All the men involved were known to travel widely, and are believed to have bought cocaine and ecstasy for import into Canada, and then into the United States. Trips to Mexico and Peru were involved.
The investigation goes back to seizures in 2008, when 23 kilograms of ecstasy was seized in Princeton. There were 117,000 pills in the shipment, said CFSEU spokesperson Sgt. Ghalib Bhayani.
On Dec. 20, 2008, 121 kilograms were seized at the Pacific Border Crossing, and another 97 kilos, this time hidden in a commercial transport truck hauling banans, was also seized at the same crossing on Dec. 24.
In May of 2009, another 10 kilograms of cocaine was seized in Burnaby.
“We took a significant amount of drugs off the streets during this investigation. The cocaine alone represents a street value (per gram) of over $17 million,” said Bhayani.
In 2009, after six more months of investigation, seven search warrants were served and homes were raided in Langley, Chilliwack, Burnaby, Surrey, Abbotsford, and Lake Country in the Okanagan.
Those searches turned up four pistols, including a restricted .44 Magnum, and banned guns including a .357 Magnum, a .38 semi-automatic and a .40 calibre semi-automatic.
Also charged are Christopher Lloyd Mehan, 40, of Burnaby on conspiracy to import cocaine, Matthew James Higgins, 28, of Powell River, on conspiracy to import ecstasy, and Hernan Osvaldo Arthur, 32, of Surrey, on possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Stark, Mehan, Higgins, and Veloso will appear in Surrey’s courthouse on Sept. 12.
A warrant has been issued for Wong’s arrest.