OAKLAND FAMILY JEWELS: Oakland, The Heroin Smuggling Capital of the United States

14 12 2007


And A Case of Governmental Corruption & Selective Enforcement of Federal Sentencing Guidelines

On May 20, 1991, at the Port of Oakland, U.S. Customs, and DEA officials seized 1,285 pounds of “China White” heroin with an estimated street value of $3 to $4 billion. The heroin was hidden inside two 20 foot long shipping containers shipped from Bangkok (Bangkok Cartel) to the Port of Oakland via Taiwan. [1] The Port of Oakland seizure equaled about a month’s supply for the nation’shalf-million addicts, said Carol Hallet, commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service. [2]  The smuggled heroin was enough to give every addict in America a fix.              

Arrested were Jim Jui Chang Chen, age 39, his wife, Lucy Hsuehiu Yang Chen, age 36, and Kelly Pao Kuel Chen, age 37, Kelly’s husband, Mike Chui-Ming Chen, age 41, and Lu Chin Sheng, age 36 (citizen of both Thailand and Taiwan).  

Jim and Mike Chen were brothers that resided in two houses in the exclusive Blackhawk development in Contra Costa County. Jim and Lucy also managed a motel in Tracy, CA. The Chicago-Times Sun described these people as “[T]he head of the dragon” was sliced from an Asian drug ring…” [3] The heroin’s U.S. distribution was primarily controlled by the New York Gambino Sicilian Mob family. 

On June 27, 1991, Jim Juichang Chen aka Jui Chang Chen; Lucy Chen, aka Hseuh Ju Yang; Mike Juiming Chen, aka Jui Ming Chen; Kelly Paokul Chen; aka Pao Kui Chen; Li Yuen Shing, aka Chinmg Lu, aka Lu Chin Sheng were indicted for a number of offenses, including conspiracy to import heroin, and importation with the intent to sell more than 1,000 pounds of heroin. [4] The case has been described by the government as the largest heroin seizure in United States History. [5] 

 They were charged with Class A felonies. Possession with Intent (21 U.S.C. §841(a)(1) to Distribute Heroin was subject to 20 years imprisonment and/or a $1 million fine. Distribution of Heroin likewise subject to 20 years imprisonment and/or a $1 million fine. These major drug traffickers were facing life imprisonment.

Yet on March 14, 1992, Mike Juiming Chen was granted pretrial release in lieu of certain real property in Virginia owned by his sister, Mei Lih Chiang. [6]Thon-Lian Lan of Ripon, California also put up his property to secure the release of Mike Chen.[7]  

Yet later on June 1992, Lucy Chen, Mike Juiming Chen, and Kelly Paokul Chen were all granted pretrial release by U.S. District Court Judge, J. Walker, and the decision was affirmed by the U.S. Ninth Court Circuit.[8] 


The heroin seized from these parties was over 90% pure from the Golden Triangle (Burma-Laos-Thailand), which made it lethal and deadly to poor American addicts. The government had evidence that this was their second major shipment of pure and lethal “China White” into the United States.


The parties owned two homes in the exclusive Black Hawk subdivision in Dublin, California, which the government refused to seize as drug assets nevertheless the government had wiretaps of money transfers to buy the homes from a Hong Kong Triad (Asian Crime Organization).

The shipping assignment for the heroin from the Port of Oakland into a Hayward warehouse originated out of San Francisco’s Federal Housing and Urban Development. Amazingly, this HUD official was not arrested, charged and prosecuted as a major kingpin drug smuggler.               

The Heroin originated from the “Golden Triangle”. The “Golden Triangle” usually refers to heroin which originated from Southeast Asia-the mountainous region surrounding the borders of Burma, Thailand, and Laos. According to the DEA and U.S. Customs, the Bangkok Drug Cartel ships the majority, about 90%, of its drugs through the Port of Oakland via Taiwan           

The majority of heroin entering the states goes under the Golden Gate Bridge. [9]  The Bangkok cartel’s smuggling heroin link to Port of Oakland as the point of entry into the United States would now make this heroin trade a “Golden Quadrangle” and would give Oakland the distinction of being the “Heroin Smuggling Capital of the United States”.

Oakland city officials have always known about the port being the point of entry for most of the Bangkok Cartel’s “China White” that enters the U.S., and illegal automatic weapons designated for street “gang-bangers”[10], but the city implicatively refuse to properly police shipping containers coming into the port, or criminals involved in lucrative import-export businesses at the port. [11]

In fact, if we had any kind of just press in the Bay Area, it would be a great surprise to citizens of Oakland and San Francisco to learn the names of major drug traffickers and smugglers, and active politicians that are actively involved in covert import-export businesses at the Port of Oakland.


Mike, Lucy, and Kelly were characterized by the Oakland Tribune as “hard working” Asians. The so-called conservative newspaper had outrageously appealed to the public that justice would be better served by allowing Kelly probation so that she could be at home raising her two small children.


They received probation for their major kingpin drug trafficking and smuggling operation, death and destruction industry, and the pain and suffering of millions of American Families. They walked free to continue their drug smuggling enterprise and empire! 


 What happened to United States Sentencing Guidelines in this case? What about what is fair to hundreds and thousandths of poor Black and Brown mothers taken from their kids on extremely minor drug charges compared to the vast criminal enterprise of  these people? The federal sentencing guidelines were overlooked and not applied in this case. Why? The federal sentencing guidelines are not only unfair and unjust to minor Black crack-cocaine offenders, but is widely selectively and racially enforced by federal prosecutors and judges against poor Black and Brown offenders. 


Now that judges can lawfully reduce the sentencing of poor Black and Brown crack-cocaine offenders and addicts, don’t stop there, investigate cases like this and declare a National Moratorium on Federal Sentencing guidelines as an international outrage, national scandal, and a human rights violation!




[1] SF Chronicle, A-18, Wednesday, June 26, 1991

[2] Id.

2 McGarth, Mary, Chicago Times-Sun, June 22, 1991

[4] Id.

[5] U.S. v. Chen (1992) 820 F.Supp. 1205

[6] Id.

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.

[10]http:// archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/2/28/114741.shtml

[11] See U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein’s Press Release, http://www.senate.gov/~feinstein/releases00/seaport_security.html reatous  




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