California Drug Ring Smuggled Cocaine Disguised as Car Parts, Instant Noodles

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Allegations have surfaced against four California men for their purported involvement in an extensive drug trafficking operation spanning five years. 

The Justice Department revealed that these individuals allegedly orchestrated the exportation of substantial quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine cleverly disguised as everyday products such as instant noodles, seasoning, and even car parts to countries including Australia, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand.

According to federal prosecutors from the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, the operation utilized sophisticated tactics involving military-grade encryption software and encrypted messaging applications

Employing various modes of transportation like air travel, ocean freight, and the U.S. mail system, the ring managed to execute its illicit activities from 2017 until 2022.

Among those indicted, Hoang Xuan Le, 42, and Tri Cao Buinguyen, 38, both from Orange County, were arrested based on a three-count federal grand jury indictment. 

California Law Pursuing Fugitives

california-drug-ring-smuggled-cocaine-disguised-as-car-parts-instant-noodles
Allegations have surfaced against four California men for their purported involvement in an extensive drug trafficking operation spanning five years.

However, Trung Buinguyen, 40, of Lakewood, and Narongsak Champy, 28, of Long Beach, are currently being pursued by California law enforcement.

The group allegedly adopted aliases, forged businesses, and utilized fake email addresses to communicate with intermediaries, including vendors, shipping entities, customs brokers, and officials in the US and abroad.

California Authorities seized a substantial amount of narcotics, totaling 1,664 pounds of methamphetamine and over 220 pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value of up to $160 million. 

Shockingly, shipments concealed within seemingly innocent products, such as instant noodles, mushroom seasoning, and garlic seasoning, highlighted the elaborate nature of their operations.

Facing severe charges including conspiracy to export and distribute controlled substances, Le and Buinguyen, who have pleaded not guilty, are also accused of distributing methamphetamine. 

If convicted, all four individuals could potentially face life imprisonment, underscoring the gravity of their alleged offenses.

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