A Vancouver “crime boss” at the centre of a transnational drug trafficking network has been sentenced to 14.5 years in U.S. federal prison, Mounties say.
In a statement released Thursday morning, BC RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime revealed Vincent Yen Tek Chiu was convicted Oct. 20 on numerous drug charges involving the distribution of cocaine, heroin, MDMA and conspiracy to export and distribute controlled substances.
“Although this highly complex investigation spanned across two nations and multiple jurisdictions, its success serves to demonstrate our collective commitment to serving and protecting the people of our nations, and the international community from the most serious threats posed by transnational criminal elements” said Supt. Richard Bergevin, officer in charge of BC RCMP Federal Policing – FSOC major projects, in a news release.
It’s been four years since the FSOC and U.S. Department of Homeland Security launched a joint investigation into the criminal activities of Chiu, which eventually merged with another ongoing joint investigation of the same nature by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Los Angeles Police Department.
By 2019, Chiu, whose pseudonyms include “Tiger,” “TigerOfMexico,” “El Chino,” was identified as the boss of a complex transnational organized crime network. In July of that year, he was arrested by U.S. authorities while trying to travel to Mexico.
U.S. prosecutors say Chiu “controlled every aspect of his lucrative and high-volume business setting up the wholesale drug purchases and dictating the terms and price; managing the financials, including sending invoices for the product and orchestrating the money dropoffs; directing others to conduct quality testing of the product to ensure that it was ‘high heat,’ which was the type of cocaine he demanded.”
An estimated $4.1 million CAD worth of drugs was distributed through Chiu’s network, including 77 kilograms of cocaine, eight kilograms of heroin, and 24 kilograms of MDMA.
Five other suspects connected to the criminal activity are facing federal prison sentences, according to the Central District of California’s Department of Justice. Vancouver’s Anthony Louis Lam is the only suspect who isn’t from California, and he’s facing a four year sentence.