Federal Authorities Dismantle Drug-Trafficking Ring that Shipped
SEP 30 -Concluding a two-year investigation dubbed “Operation Candystore,” members of a federal task force this morning arrested seven defendants linked to a binational drug-trafficking organization that allegedly imported ecstasy and marijuana from Canada and sent cocaine to Canada from the United States.
About a month ago, a federal grand jury in Santa Ana returned two indictments that outline the activities of an organization allegedly overseen in the United States by Jason I. Ming Wei, a Canadian national who is charged in the main case. Both indictments charge Nathanael Garrard Lineham, who runs a company called Datalocking (dba beStealth) and allegedly used and distributed encrypted Blackberries to facilitate drug trafficking.
Operation Candystore was conducted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). After being initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Beverly Hills Police Department participated in the investigation. During the investigation, authorities seized money and narcotics, including a 60-kilogram shipment of cocaine and a 35-kilogram shipment of cocaine.
One indictment names 17 defendants and alleges a total of eight counts – conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute ecstasy, cocaine and methamphetamine; two counts of possession with intent to distribute ecstasy; three counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; and money laundering.
The second indictment, which alleges ecstasy trafficking and money laundering, names two defendants from the main case and one additional defendant, meaning that Operation Candystore has led to federal charges against 18 defendants. Those charged as a result of the investigation are:
The defendants arrested this morning are Lin, Lineham, Enck, Garibay, Perez, Hsieh and Pou, and they are expected to make their initial appearances this afternoon in United States District Court in Santa Ana. The other domestic defendants are being sought by authorities. The United States expects to file provisional arrest warrants against the Canadian defendants in the coming days.
If convicted of the charges in the indictments, most of the defendants would face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in federal prison.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Release No. 08-131