Pubdate: Tue, 16 May 2006
Source: Windsor Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006 The Windsor Star
Author: Trevor Wilhelm, Windsor Star
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


The woman who masterminded the local cell of a multimillion-dollar
international drug smuggling operation, which used Windsor as a key
staging point, has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Bahn Nguyen, 50, was sentenced last week after pleading guilty for her
role in organizing the massive marijuana ring that funnelled millions
of dollars worth of weed from Canada into the United States.

Most of the drugs and money crossed at the Windsor-Detroit

Federal prosecutor Tim Zuber said it was the largest marijuana
smuggling operation this part of the province has seen.

He said the organization had customers from Massachusetts, Maryland,
New Jersey, Ohio, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Washington,
D.C. and other areas buying up the high-grade "B.C. bud," usually in
50- to 100-pound quantities, as fast they could get it.


"For southwestern Ontario, it's the biggest one I'm aware of for
marijuana distribution," Zuber said. "They were moving it over at a
tremendous rate. As quick as they could gather it up, they had
customers. It was a continuous shipment of marijuana going down and
money coming back."

Authorities charged 20 people in Canada about two years ago in the
international police probe dubbed Project Oflow.

The lengthy investigation into the Asian crime ring netted $800,000 US
and $100,000 Cdn in cash, more than 90 kilograms of pot, six vehicles
and a house.

There were at least 10 stash houses in Windsor where the pot was

Four of the main players were sentenced last month in Ontario in
addition to several others who were prosecuted in the United States.

Trong Nguyen, 49, of Mississauga, who previously lived in Chatham, was
the kingpin of the whole operation. He got seven years behind bars.

Zuber said Bahn Nguyen was one of the people next to him in the
operation's hierarchy.

He said one of her main roles was arranging for the marijuana's
movement into Windsor, mainly from Toronto, then having the couriers
take it across the border.

She also connected the couriers with customers, he

"She was the centre point," Zuber said.

He said Bahn Nguyen was known by some as the Black Widow, though he
didn't know the exact reason for the nickname.

"To listen to her on the phone, she was very no-nonsense," said Zuber.
"She had a very stern manner is a nice way of putting it." 
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