UNITED STATES NEWS

California men charged with running drugs to Australia, New Zealand disguised as car parts, noodles

Dec 15, 2023, 5:13 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Four California men have been charged with running a drug ring that sent hundreds of pounds of cocaine and methamphetamine to Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea disguised as shipments of everything from car parts to instant noodles, federal prosecutors announced Friday.

Hoang Xuan Le, 42, of Tustin and Tri Cao Buinguyen, 38, of Garden Grove were arrested Thursday and pleaded not guilty on Friday, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Trung Buinguyen, 40, of Lakewood and Narongsak Champy, 28, of Long Beach are fugitives, prosecutors said.

All are charged with conspiracy to export and distribute controlled substances while Le and Tri Buinguyen also are charged with distributing methamphatamine.

They could face up to life in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors contend that from at least 2017 to last year, the men shipped drugs overseas by air, sea and the U.S. Mail. The drugs were hidden in “commercial products such as instant noodle packets, car parts, emergency kits, and subwoofers,” said a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

In 2018, for example, the ring shipped 113 kilograms (249 pounds) of methamphetamine and 100 kilograms (more than 220 pounds) of cocaine disguised as garlic seasoning, prosecutors said.

Investigators eventually seized 755 kilograms (1,664 pounds) of methamphetamine and more than 100 kilograms (more than 220 pounds) of cocaine valued at more than $65 million, the U.S. attorney’s office statement said.

United States News

Associated Press

Pursuit of Milwaukee carjacking suspects ends with police shooting 2 teens in stolen vehicle

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A police pursuit of carjacking suspects in Milwaukee ended Thursday with police firing into the vehicle and injuring two teens, one of whom was pregnant and lost her baby, Milwaukee police said. Officers tried to stop the stolen vehicle just before 2:30 p.m. on Interstate 43 north of Milwaukee. The pursuit ended […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

2 crop dusting airplanes collided in southern Idaho, killing 1 pilot and severely injuring the other

ARCO, Idaho (AP) — Two crop dusting airplanes collided near an airport in southern Idaho on Thursday and crashed to the ground, killing one of the pilots and leaving the other with life-threatening injuries, officials said. The crash was reported at about 12:30 p.m. in an area covered by sage and grass near the airport […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Seattle police officer fired for off-duty racist comments

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer was fired for calling his Chinese American neighbor racist and sexist slurs while off duty in 2022, according to a news report. Officer Burton Hill was fired in May, The Seattle Times reported. The termination stemmed from an altercation with his neighbor, Zhen Jin, over the disposal of […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Appeals court panel refuses to delay Trump ally Steve Bannon’s 4-month contempt prison sentence

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court panel on Thursday rejected longtime Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon’s bid to stay out of prison while he fights his conviction for defying a subpoena from the House committee that investigated the U.S. Capitol attack. Bannon is supposed to report to prison by July 1 to begin serving […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

2 killed in helicopter crash in Washington state, authorities say

BLUESTEM, Wash. (AP) — Two men died in a helicopter crash in eastern Washington state, authorities said. Lincoln County Fire District 6 Chief Brandon Larmer told KREM-TV that the helicopter had two people aboard when it crashed Wednesday afternoon. The men who died were identified Thursday as 68-year-old Ryan Sandvig, of Spokane, and 63-year-old Mark […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Gold bars and Sen. Bob Menendez’s curiosity about their price takes central role at bribery trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors showed jurors at Sen. Bob Menendez ’s trial on Thursday multiple instances when he researched the value of gold as he tried to help a New Jersey businessman who authorities say bribed him with gold and cash. The evidence about the Democrat’s online searches was prominently displayed to a New […]

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

California men charged with running drugs to Australia, New Zealand disguised as car parts, noodles