Three men from Nanaimo – including the father of the victim in a high-profile murder case – have been arrested as part of an investigation into “dark-web” drug trafficking.
Kerry Chang, Kien Trung Pham and Gordon Brooks of Nanaimo have been charged with various drug trafficking charges and will have their next appearance in court in June, according to a press release from the B.C. RCMP.
In early 2019, the B.C. RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime cybercrime operations group started an online undercover investigation into an international dark web organized crime group with the vendor name AlwaysOverweight, the release noted.
AlwaysOverweight allegedly used cryptocurrency and encrypted messaging applications to cover its tracks while anonymously trafficking a large variety of drugs including methamphetamine, oxycodone, cocaine, MDMA, Xanax, and what was advertised as heroin, but was in fact the deadlier opioid, fentanyl, that was mixed with other cutting agents.
As the investigation evolved to street-level drug transactions, investigators identified the suspects and made the arrests Feb. 2, 2020, when police executed search warrants at two Nanaimo residences. The search warrants also lead to the seizure of a variety of drugs, packaging, mailing envelopes, documents, cash, computers, and data storage devices, say RCMP.
Chang is the father of Makayla Chang, a teen who went missing and then was found dead in 2017.