A year-long investigation into a Calgary-based drug trafficking network has led to one of Alberta’s largest drug seizures. More than $4 million worth of fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine were seized by ALERT.
Project Offshore was an investigation by ALERT Calgary’s organized crime and gang team that focused on a drug trafficking consortium operating in Calgary. The group was allegedly involved in wholesale drug distribution and money laundering that was provincial in scope.
Project Offshore began in September 2016. A total of 11 homes were searched in Calgary during the course of the investigation and arrests took place in November 2017. To date, 11 suspects have been charged with more than 125 criminal offences.
“Project Offshore is proof that ALERT’s integrated approach works. We know enforcement is key to reducing the supply of drugs. I would like to commend all investigators and officers involved in this specific case. On behalf of all Albertans, thank you for your continued great work that helps keep our communities safe,” said Minister Kathleen Ganley, Alberta’s Justice Minister and Solicitor General.
ALERT seized record amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine in this operation, with 15,757 fentanyl pills and 28 kilograms of methamphetamine taken off the street. The fentanyl seizure is the largest of its kind by ALERT, while the meth seizure nearly doubles the previous record for all of Alberta.
Previously, the largest meth seizure in the province was made at the Del Bonita border crossing in January 2016. A joint investigation between Canada Border Services Agency and ALERT seized 14.5 kilograms of meth concealed in a vehicle.
The street value of the drugs seized in Project Offshore surpasses $4 million. The seizure includes:
- 15,757 fentanyl pills;
- 28 kilograms of methamphetamine;
- 6.7 kilograms of cocaine;
- 1.5 kilograms of crack cocaine;
- 75 kilograms of cocaine buffing agent;
- 3 cocaine conversion labs;
- 11 handguns; and
- body armour and various weapons.
ALERT also seized $523,232 in cash proceeds of crime, two vehicles, and has restrained a million-dollar mansion located in north Calgary (see photo above). The home belongs to Simon Yuen and was allegedly financed through a profitable drug trafficking operation.
Yuen was allegedly part of drug trafficking consortium that also included key figures Guan Chen, Chang Yong Yun, and Benham Fayaz. ALERT alleges the group facilitated drug distribution and supplied street-level drug dealers.
More than 120 charges related to drugs, firearms, proceeds of crime, and organized crime have been laid against 11 suspects who are all from Calgary:
- Jonathan Aaron Bejo, a 25-year-old man (8 charges);
- Guan Chen, a 27-year-old man (21 charges);
- Jia Nan Chen, a 29-year-old woman (9 charges);
- Danny Ho Ming Chui, a 36-year-old man (9 charges);
- Hue Thi “Kim” Do, a 39-year-old woman (1 charge);
- Behnam Fayaz, a 31-year-old man (31 charges);
- Jamal Mohamud, a 29-year-old man (15 charges);
- Chang Yong Yun, a 37-year-old man (11 charges);
- Lanssa Yousuf, a 28-year-old woman (12 charges);
- Simon Sui-Sang Yuen, a 34-year-old man (9 charges); and
- Jian Nan Zhao, a 28-year-old man (1 charge).
Yuen, Mohamud and Jia Chen have not been located to date. Warrants have been issued for their arrest, and anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Project Offshore involved a number of partner agencies including the Calgary Police Service, RCMP, Lethbridge Police, Alberta Sheriffs, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), Seized Property Management Directorate, Canada Revenue Agency, and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).