Monterey Park Man Charged as Ring Leader in Marijuana, Cigarette Scheme
By City News Service
Eleven Los Angeles-area residents are among 37 defendants charged in a federal indictment unsealed on Tuesday in New York targeting a Southeast Asian marijuana and counterfeit cigarette trafficking organization that operated nationwide.
Prosecutors allege members of the ring conspired to produce and distribute more than $45 million worth of marijuana and illegally distribute nearly 44 million cigarettes, resulting in more than $7 million in lost tax revenue.
According to court documents, the Los Angeles-area defendants fulfilled a variety of roles in the ring.
Several were involved in growing pot, while others oversaw transportation or served as money couriers, federal prosecutors allege.
Nine of the 11 Los Angeles-area defendants were arrested early Tuesday morning by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
– Paul Coong Lay, 47, of Monterey Park, who along with his brother allegedly oversaw the ring’s marijuana grow operations;
– Steven Qu, 54, of Pomona, owner of Los Angeles-area trucking company Super Quality Logistics;
– Rocky Kuo, 61, of Temple City;
– Fu Chan Chuong, 48, of Temple City;
– Jia Yuan, 33, of San Gabriel;
– Zhu He Wang, 56, of Temple City;
– Hung Ho, 42, of Los Angeles;
– Kit Poon, 42, of Baldwin Park; and
– Qui Sam Ho, 37, of Westminster.
Two other local defendants being sought were identified as Yun Xing, 30, Qu’s wife, and Jonathan Fierro, 24, of Los Angeles.
March 21, 2013 Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.