14 defendants, with ties to China, were arrested Wednesday with conspiracy to distribute thousands of tablets of Ecstasy, a mind-altering illegal drug, United States Attorney Karen P. Hewitt announced.
A federal grand jury sitting in San Diego handed up an indictment July 10, which was then sealed until yesterday's arrests.
Some of the defendants, Henry Huynh, Tony Nguyen, Yi Cheong Ho, Michael Hoai Tran, Duy The Nguyen, Yang Jiang, Charles David Nguyen, Vi Kien Tang, Down George Yang, David Van Pham, Phinath Khvann, Melissa Sue Morand, Harlan Jarard Edison, and Edward H. Chien, were arrested in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Phoenix, Arizona.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigated the operation through wire and electronic interceptions. The investigation confirmed that several defendants made trips to China to arrange for shipments of the illegal drugs to locations in Southern California, Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward C. Weiner said.
"Ecstasy destroys individual lives and corrodes communities. Those who profit from its sale and distribution will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," United States Attorney Hewitt said.
Several defendants were scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in San Diego Thursday.