A Victoria drug trafficker has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay a $150,000 proceeds-of-crime fine.
Alfred Kong, 32, must forfeit the $150,000 he made in drug profits or serve an additional two years in jail in lieu of payment, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Carol Ross ordered Wednesday. Kong will have 10 years to pay the fine.
Kong was convicted last year of conspiracy to traffic cocaine, trafficking cocaine, possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of ecstasy for the purpose of trafficking.
Kong’s former girlfriend Bich Ngo, 34, was convicted of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of ecstasy for the purpose of trafficking. The offences took place between July and September 2008.
On Wednesday, Ngo received a 20-month conditional sentence. For the first 10 months of her sentence, Ngo will be under house arrest. For the following 10 months, she must obey a curfew and perform 100 hours of community service.
Both Kong and Ngo were ordered to give police a sample of their DNA.
The Crown’s case was based on surveillance evidence, intercepted communications and police seizures at Kong’s apartment on Songhees Road and at a Hillside Avenue apartment rented by Ngo.
Text messages show Kong arranged to sell one kilogram of cocaine to a dealer for $31,250 in July 2008. Police, who were watching Kong’s apartment, seized the cocaine and $28,600 from the dealer a few hours later.
On Sept. 9, 2008, Ngo was arrested at her apartment, where she had helped Kong weigh and package the cocaine. Police found steroids and growth hormone, 40 one-ounce bags of cocaine in a safe, more than 17,000 ecstasy pills, baggies of methamphetamine and a crack cocaine cookie on a baking sheet.
When police searched Kong’s apartment that same morning, they found a one-kilogram brick of cocaine, a large digital scale, a switchblade knife, a small bag of 100 ecstasy pills, steroids, brass knuckles, crack cocaine and $58,000 in cash.
During the trial, Kong took the stand and essentially admitted he was guilty of the offences. The court also heard evidence that he had wired $150,000 to a trust account in Mexico.
Kong, who was born and raised in Victoria, struggled at school but was only recently diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. During the trial, Kong said he had a hard time emotionally and financially after his father died from cancer in 2004. He started drinking and using ecstasy. In 2005, he was asked to deliver some drugs and become involved as a runner in a dial-a-dope operation.
By 2006, he was buying half-kilos of cocaine to sell in smaller amounts on the street. In late 2007, he decided he needed a safe place to store his drugs and asked Ngo to rent an apartment in her name.
Kong testified that Ngo did not know the extent or scale of the drug dealing and did not profit from it.
Court heard that Ngo’s involvement in the drug trade grew out of her relationship with Kong. She had been in a relationship with Kong before he started trafficking and remained infatuated with him.
“Counsel submits that this infatuation was so overwhelming, it caused her to blind herself to the significance to her family, herself and to the community of the offences she was committing,” Ross said.
The judge found the aggravating factors to be the sophistication of the drug trafficking, Kong’s criminal record and the fact he was motivated by profit.
Ngo played a limited, more passive role and there is no evidence she benefited financially, Ross found.
Kong was living with his brother and doing well. When he is released from prison, he wants to complete his electrician’s training.
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