Three Charged with Drug Importation Related to Organized Crime

LEAMINGTON, ON, July 14, 2011 /CNW/ - On Wednesday, July 13th the London and Windsor Royal Canadian Mounted Police Detachment Drug Sections with the assistance of London Integrated Proceeds of Crime Unit, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Ontario Provincial Police and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration from Los Angeles, Detroit and El Paso dismantled an alleged drug trafficking organization suspected of operating a drug pipeline from Mexico that travelled through the United States and into South Western Ontario.

Initiated in the fall of 2010, Project OMEN has culminated in the arrest of two Essex County residents in possession of 10 kilograms of cocaine in Detroit, Michigan by US Authorities.  The RCMP, with the assistance of the OPP arrested one Toronto resident and three additional Essex County residents.  The investigation continues and further arrests are anticipated.

"This investigation is another example of policing partners sharing resources, expertise and intelligence to target the upper levels of organized crime groups in South Western Ontario" stated Sgt. Dan Russell acting officer in charge of the London RCMP Detachment. "Organized crime groups are responsible for bringing large amounts of illicit drugs and funds into our communities resulting in a negative impact on our urban and rural areas.  The RCMP and our Policing partners will continue to work together and use whatever legal means available to target these groups and bring them before the courts".

The following individuals have been charged for Conspiracy to Import cocaine into Canada from the United States.  All three will be appearing in Windsor Provincial Courts today for a bail hearing.

Issak BANMAN (age 32) resident of Leamington Ontario
Frank KLASSEN (age 46) resident of Leamington, Ontario
Khoaphone SYCHANTHA (age 30) resident of Toronto, Ontario

If anyone has additional information about this investigation or any other drug activity, contact the RCMP at 1-800-387-0020 or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-265-4444.

For further information:

London Detachment Media Relations
RCMP "O" Division
Office: (519) 645-4329 ext. 238