Canadian Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking
SEP 02 -- PHILADELPHIA - Hieu Phan, 36, of New Market, Ontario, Canada, was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for his role in the Benjamin Ton drug trafficking organization, announced Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer, United States Attorney Zane David Memeger, and Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration John Bryfonski, Philadelphia Office.
Between 2002 and 2004, the Benjamin Ton drug trafficking organization imported over 10,000 kilograms of marijuana and 300,000 ecstasy pills into the United States from various Asian organized crime groups in Canada. Hieu Phan acted as the Ton organization’s representative in Toronto. Phan negotiated price and terms of delivery with the drug trafficking organizations in Canada which manufactured the drugs. In addition, Phan ensured that these drug trafficking organizations were paid promptly for the massive amounts of drugs the Ton organization was purchasing. During the course of the conspiracy, the Ton organization smuggled approximately $25 million in U.S. currency to Canada to pay for these drugs. On one occasion, Phan arranged to smuggle a firearm into the United States concealed in a vehicle along with a shipment of 55,000 ecstasy pills. In November 2004, DEA special agents stopped the vehicle in Ft. Washington, PA and seized the drugs and the firearm.
“This investigation eliminated an international source of supply for both marijuana as well as ecstasy in Pennsylvania that, left unhindered, posed a significant threat to the safety and health of the citizens of the Commonwealth, its young adults, and their families,” said Bryfonski. “The ill-effects from the consumption of these drugs inevitably leads to dysfunction and disaster.”
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Paul S. Diamond ordered Phan to pay a fine in the amount of $2,500 and a $500 special assessment.
Benjamin Ton was sentenced to 210 months on June 30, 2010.
For the past several years, the U.S. Department of Justice Organized Crime & Racketeering Section in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania have been working closely with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and various Canadian law enforcement agencies, to crack down on these Asian organized crime groups which smuggle billions of dollars worth of drugs into the United States from Canada each year.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David E. Fritchey and Trial Attorneys Marty Woelfle and Robert J. Livermore of the United States Department of Justice Organized Crime and Racketeering Section. The case was investigated by special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and law enforcement officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Criminal Organization Marihuana Enforcement Team (COMET).
The investigation also received assistance from: Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Philadelphia Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Ontario Provincial Police Department, and the Toronto Metropolitan Police Department.