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Burnaby man among those charged in Project Talon
A 32-year-old Burnaby man is among those charged following a months-long investigation focused on a violent drug trafficker whose group preyed on residents of the Downtown Eastside, say Vancouver Police Department.
The VPD's organized crime section started its investigation, dubbed Project Talon, in October 2012. On Feb. 19, more than 100 police officers from VPD Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia and the Lower Mainland RCMP simultaneously executed search warrants in Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond on seven homes, two vehicles and a storage locker.
Police seized numerous items including two handguns, ammunition, more than $340,000 in cash, money counters, a home invasion kit, body armour, about 3 kgs of cocaine and 1.5 kgs of heroin, various other drugs, and more than 50 kgs of a cutting agent.
The investigation is now complete and drug and firearms-related charges have been approved by Crown counsel for three men and three women.
The main target of the investigation was Vancouver resident Seyed Saeed Sajadi, 29, who faces numerous weapons charges and two counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
A Canada-wide arrest warrant was issued for Sajadi on Dec. 5 and two days later, he was stopped by US Immigration officers as he attempted to travel from the U.K. to Atlanta, Georgia. A Canadian citizen, Sajadi was denied entry into the U.S. and was put on a the first available flight back to Canada and arrested.
VPD detectives have travelled to Toronto and are escorting him back to Vancouver to face charges.
Others charged as a result of Project Talon include Leo Wai Yee, 32, from Burnaby and 30-year-old Brianne Ting Wong of Vancouver, who have been charged with two counts each of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 10.
Donna Conception DeGuzman, 29, of Vancouver has been charged with weapons offences and two counts of drug possession for the purpose of trafficking. Her next court appearance is Jan. 14.
Hoang Nam Lam, 26, of Richmond is charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance and will next appear in court Jan. 7.
And Surrey resident Minh Hanh Tran, 31, is charged with two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance. There is currently a warrant out for his arrest.
All the suspects in Project Talon are also subject to ongoing civil asset forfeiture in which property can be seized through civil court if it is believed to be used in or the proceeds of criminal activity.