Wednesday, October 1, 2008

UCSB student arrested in drug trafficking bust


A 19-year-old UC Santa Barbara student was among seven people arrested yesterday morning in connection with a drug-trafficking organization that allegedly distributed ecstasy and marijuana from Canada and sent cocaine back from the United States.
Federal authorities took Alexander Chiang Pou, a second-year student from Riverside, Calif., into custody for his alleged involvement with a series of drug transactions, according to a news release from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The arrests culminated a two-year investigation dubbed “Operation Candystore” that delved into a drug organization allegedly headed by a Canadian national named Jason I. Ming Wei, authorities said. Indictments have been made against a total of 18 suspects, including residents of Canada and Southern California, according to the statement.
DEA officials said Pou allegedly was involved in drug transactions with Jerry Fanyuan Lin, a 32-year-old resident of Temple City, Calif., who allegedly received drugs from Wei and distributed them through his own network.
UCSB officials confirmed Pou is listed as a second-year pre-psychology student, but had no knowledge of the arrest when contacted yesterday afternoon. Calls to the UC Police Department late yesterday afternoon were not immediately returned.
Pou was expected to make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court yesterday afternoon in Santa Ana, Calif.
In addition to the seven arrests made yesterday, federal authorities took Wei into custody Sunday night at Los Angeles International Airport as he attempted to board a flight to Canada. The remaining U.S. defendants are still being sought and federal officials are expected to file provisional arrest warrants against the Canadian suspects soon, according to the DEA.
Launched by the FBI, the investigation involved the DEA, the Internal Revenue Service and the Beverly Hills Police Department. DEA officials said authorities seized money and narcotics, including 60-kilogram and 35-kilogram shipments of cocaine.
The main indictment, which names 17 defendants, alleges eight counts, including conspiracy to distribute ecstasy, cocaine and methamphetamine, and money laundering.

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