B.C. drug smuggler caught after Phantom Secure phone seized

When undercover FBI agents seized an encrypted BlackBerry from Vancouver company Phantom Secure last June, they decided to message one of the contacts on the device.

The mysterious figure — “a known drug trafficker located in Canada” — was identified only as The Goat.

Agents learned details of a clandestine drug shipment planned from B.C. to Washington State, according to U.S. court documents laying out charges against Phantom Secure’s Vancouver-based owner Vincent Ramos.

“This operation ultimately led to the arrest of Saysana Luangkhamdeng as he attempted to smuggle MDMA into the United States,” the documents said.

Ramos, 40, was arrested last week on charges of racketeering and drug trafficking for allegedly aiding international organized crime groups, including the deadly Mexican Sinaloa cartel. He is expected to go to trial in San Diego.

Records from Luangkhamdeng’s Seattle prosecution lay out more details of what happened when he crossed the border into Blaine on June 10, 2017, about 11:30 a.m.

The Langley man, who is 41, was driving a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe and wearing a Blue Jays jersey. He told a border guard that he and his passenger, another Canadian identified only as C.M. in the documents, were off to watch the Mariners play the Jays that afternoon at Safeco Field.

“According to the primary inspection officer, Luangkhamdeng appeared nervous and evasive during primary questioning,” U.S. Homeland Security Special Agent Nathan Hickman said in the original criminal complaint.

He said that Luangkhamdeng’s vehicle was similar to others that border guards had “found to have a secret compartment near the rear cargo area, so he was sent for secondary inspection.”

During that search, Luangkhamdeng “had his head bowed and his hands around his head.”

He appeared “significantly stressed.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found a secret compartment — commonly called a “trap” — near the rear cargo area.

“I know that these …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

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