California Man Admits to Opium Trafficking

U.S. Attorney Thomas Scott Woodward announced today that a California man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Tulsa to trafficking in opium.  Wang Chong Khang (aka Pao Lee and Dao Lee), 25, of Oroville, California, pleaded guilty to Possession of Opium with Intent to Distribute.

Chief U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan set his sentencing date for June 8, 2010. Khang faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $1 million.  He was indicted by the Grand Jury in January 2010.

Khang admitted that on November 17, 2009, he picked up a package at the U.S. Post Office in Colcord, Oklahoma, that had been shipped from Vientiane, Laos. He signed the USPS receipt form using the alias of “Pao Lee.” The package originally contained 5.95 kilograms (approximately 13 pounds) of pure opium hidden among the contents, which was detected in shipment by inspectors. A controlled delivery of the package was made by law enforcement to the destination address at the Colcord post office.

Khang admitted that he intended to distribute the opium to other individuals – knowing that it was wrong and illegal to do so.  The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert T. Raley is handling the case for the government.