In October of 2012, the VPD Organized Crime Section began “Project Talon,” an investigation concentrating on a violent drug supplier with gang affiliations whose group preyed upon the marginalized residents of the Downtown Eastside and operated their drug business through fear and intimidation.
Investigators gathered information and obtained a number of search warrants in order to acquire additional evidence to support criminal allegations. On February 19th, 2013, in excess of 100 police officers from the Vancouver Police Department, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia and the Lower Mainland RCMP simultaneously executed search warrants in Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond on seven homes, two vehicles and a storage locker.
Police detained a number of people and investigators located a significant quantity of evidence during the searches. The items seized by police included:
- two handguns
- more than $340,000 in cash
- money counters
- home invasion kit
- body armour
- approximately 3 kgs of cocaine and 1.5 kgs of heroin
- over ½ a kg of various other drugs
- more than 50 kgs of cutting agent
Forensic analysis and a lengthy follow-up investigation have now concluded and a variety of drug and firearm related charges have been approved by Crown for three men and three women.
The focus of the VPD investigation during Project Talon was 29 year old Vancouver resident Seyed Saeed Sajadi. Charges for Sajadi were approved and a Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest on December 5th.
Two days later, on December 7th, Sajadi was stopped by US Immigration as he travelled from the United Kingdom to Atlanta Georgia. Mr Sajadi, a Canadian citizen, was denied entry into the United States, put on the first available flight to Canada and arrested.
Detectives with the VPD Organized Crime Section have travelled to Toronto and are escorting Seyed Sajadi back to Vancouver to face his alleged offences. Those offences include:
- unauthorized possession of a firearm (two counts)
- possession of a firearm without a licence (two counts)
- possession of a loaded firearm (two counts)
- possession of a firearm with an altered serial number
- possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking (two counts)
Sajadi, and others implicated in Project Talon, have also been subject to ongoing civil asset forfeiture.
Others Charged in Project Talon:
Twenty-nine year old Vancouver resident Donna Conception DeGuzman has been charged with unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm without a licence, possession of a loaded firearm, possession of a firearm with an altered serial number and two counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking. Her next court appearance is scheduled for January 14th, 2014.
Leo Wai Yee, a 32 year old from Burnaby and 30 year old Brianne Ting Wong from Vancouver have been charged with two counts each of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking. Their next court appearance is scheduled for January 10th 2014.
Twenty-six year old Hoang Nam Lam of Richmond is charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance. His next court date is scheduled for January 7th, 2014.
Thirty-one year old Surrey resident Minh Hanh Tran is charged with two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance. There is currently a warrant for her arrest.