DTES drug ring taken down: Vancouver police 0
Drugs, money and guns are displayed as Supt. Mike Porteous, Vancouver Police Department Investigative Services discussing the results of “Project Talon” at a press conference in Vancouver, B.C. on Thursday December 12, 2013. The investigation concentrated on a violent drug supplier whose group preyed upon residents of the Downtown Eastside. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
An alleged Downtown Eastside drug ringleader and his lieutenants were taken down, according to police, in a sweeping operation where properties across the Lower Mainland were simultaneously raided in February.
Vancouver police Supt. Mike Porteus revealed the operation Thursday when it was announced former United Nations gang associate Seyed Saeed Sajadi was picked up in the U.S. state of Georgia on Dec. 7.
The 29-year-old has since been transported home on a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest.
Porteus described him as one of “several” people at the higher level among DTES drug dealers. He’s been charged with nine offences.
Sajadi and five other associates — described as alleged secondary-tier criminals working directly beneath him — were first arrested earlier this year when more than 100 officers raided seven residences, two vehicles and a storage locker in Vancouver, Richmond and Surrey.
Guns, a sword, fake police vests, cocaine, heroin, drug mixing agents and $340,000 were seized as part of that investigation. Sajadi, according to investigators, was released and left for the United Kingdom shortly after.
No information was given as to why he was trying to enter the United States earlier this month.
Police said Sajadi left the United Nations gang and returned as the top man in his own organization. He allegedly bought drugs from a variety of suppliers, mixed the drugs and packaged them for brick and street-level dealing.
One of the workers allegedly under Sajadi, Hoang Nam Lam, was named in a civil forfeiture action as the tenant of a Katsura Street apartment in Richmond where two kilograms of cocaine, drug packing materials and $41,000 was found earlier this year.
The Crown alleged the penthouse owner who rented the property to Lam was a financial analyst employed by Service Canada, and the residence was partly used to launder criminal proceeds. The owner has denied involvement, according to the document, but is alleged to have gang connections dating back to 2002.