Ecstasy lab trial inches forward
he trial of five men charged in connection with a massive multi-million-dollar ecstasy bust two years ago is slowly getting underway in Richmond provincial court.
Tin Ho, 46, of Vancouver, and four young Richmond men in their 20s face charges of production of a controlled substance.
The four accused are Qing Hou, Shao Huang, Yin Li, and Kai Zhou. All five were released on bail at the end of January, 2007.
The court spent part of the Wednesday morning session just trying to nail down a time in the New Year when a voir dire can continue. Only after the voir dire (in which lawyers argue what evidence can or can't be used) can the actual trial begin, according to Crown prosecutor Michael LeDressay.
LeDressay told the News it's not unusual for a drug case to take so long to come to a trial when there are several accused, each with his own lawyer, which can cause scheduling conflicts.
LeDressay added the investigation was a complicated one. "The investigation was a year long," he said. "So there's a lot of material."
At the time of the bust in January 2007, RCMP said the investigation had begun in mid-2005, as a result of a tip from a resident.
RCMP spent a year investigating, and on Jan. 30, 2007 executed search warrants on two homes in Richmond, arresting seven people, including the five accused now standing trial in Richmond. Two Burnaby residents were also arrested at the time.
Police found vats of chemicals for making ecstasy and nine pill presses in a home at 3671 Raymond Avenue. They also found bulletproof vests, an imitation handgun and Asian martial arts weapons, like throwing stars and ceremonial swords.
They also found 78 kilograms of ecstasy power and 20 kilos of ecstasy pills at 107 - 7480 Gilbert Road. Police estimated the drugs in one house alone to be worth $3 million.
Nelson Bennett, Richmond News
Published: Friday, December 11, 2009
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