A 22-year-old man arrested in Paradise Tuesday after RNC officers seized approximately 86 pounds of marijuana from a residence was held in custody following a court appearance Thursday in St. John’s.
Louis Trung Huynh will be back in court again today for a bail hearing. He is charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.
The street value of the marijuana seized is about $780,000.
RNC Chief Robert Johnston told members of the media Thursday that Huynh was found to have a Newfoundland and Labrador driver’s licence on him at the time of the arrest, as well as a New Brunswick driver’s licence with a different name and date of birth. He also gave an Ontario address when interviewed by police officers.
Huynh reportedly grew up in Woodbridge, Ont., but is renting an apartment in the St. John’s area.
Johnston, though he wouldn’t comment specifically about Huynh’s case, said that police have been noticing through recent drug busts that people involved in the illegal drug trade often use stash houses to store drugs.
“The RNC has been noticing a trend in some of the recent drug busts,” Johnston said. “The drug trade is evolving, as most of us know. People involved in this type of criminal activity are using rented houses or apartments, and some are in residential neighbourhoods, and they are using these locations as stash houses.”
Johnston also said that any significant drug seizure points to organized crime. He noted that to carry out the operation of illegal drug distribution there has to be an organized group behind it. While the RNC is having success in cracking down on the drug trade, police still need help from the public, Johnston said.
“It takes all of us to have success,” he said. “Our drug investigators are doing a great job on the files they have, but we need help from the general public, as well.”
He noted types of suspicious activity people should keep an eye out for in their neighbourhoods, and report to police, include: people coming and going at a residence at odd hours; someone always paying cash for rent; a house or apartment that appears as if no one is living there; windows completely covered and no garbage being placed out on garbage days.
“If you see any one or a number of these characteristics, give us a call and we can make a determination whether any illegal activity is taking place,” Johnston said.
Huynh was picked up outside the house in Paradise which was searched by the RNC’s drug investigation unit shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday. The investigation into the case is continuing. Anyone with information in relation to this investigation is asked to contact the RNC at 729-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Information can also be provided anonymously on the NL Crime Stoppers website at www.nlcrimestoppers.com.