U.S. Attorney Wrigley Annouces two Quebec Men Extradited to North Dakota from Canada as part of ‘Operation Denial’
FARGO (STL.News) The United States Attorney’s Office, North Dakota, announced that Canadian authorities extradited two alleged members of an international fentanyl trafficking organization.
Acting Assistant Attorney General David P. Burns of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Drew H. Wrigley of the District of North Dakota, and U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams of the District of Oregon made the announcement.
Jason Joey Berry, aka Daniel Desnoyers, 37, of Montreal, Quebec, and Xuan Cahn Nguyen, aka Jackie and Jackie Chan, 41, of Point-Aux-Tremble, Quebec, arrived in North Dakota Wednesday, January 6, 2021, and had their initial appearance and arraignment hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alice Senechal on January 7, 2021. Their case is assigned to Chief U.S. District Judge Peter D. Welte.
Berry was arrested on Oct. 18, 2019, and Nguyen was arrested on Jan. 16, 2020. Both Berry and Nguyen were ordered surrendered by the Canadian Minister of Justice on Nov. 30, 2020. Berry and Nguyen were extradited in connection with a superseding indictment in the District of North Dakota charging them with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and controlled substance analogues resulting in serious bodily injury and death, and conspiracy to import controlled substances and controlled substance analogues into the United States resulting in serious bodily injury and death. The superseding indictment also charges Nguyen with international money laundering conspiracy.
The extradition comes as part of “Operation Denial,” an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation into the international trafficking of fentanyl and other lethal drugs, and was significantly aided by the national and international coordination led by the multi-agency Special Operations Division near Washington D.C. as part of “Operation Deadly Merchant.” The investigation started in North Dakota on Jan. 3, 2015, with the overdose death in Grand Forks, North Dakota, of 18-year-old Bailey Henke.
Berry and Nguyen’s alleged co-defendant Daniel Vivas Ceron of Columbia was previously extradited from Panama to North Dakota in 2017. Vivas Ceron pled guilty on July 12, 2019, for his role in operating an international fentanyl trafficking organization from a Canadian prison and is awaiting sentencing.
This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Portland Oregon Police Bureau – Drugs and Vice Division, Portland HIDTA Interdiction Task Force, Oregon State Police, and the Grand Forks Police Department. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in bringing Berry and Nguyen to the United States and procuring foreign evidence during the investigation.
Trial Attorney Kaitlin Sahni of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher C. Myers of the District of North Dakota, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Edmonds of the District of Oregon are prosecuting the cases.
An indictment is merely an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.