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Wednesday March 5th, 2014

Posted at 9:37pm

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Image from Homeland Security.

Authorities on both sides of the border are looking for information regarding the whereabouts of a fugitive suspected to be the ring leader of a large-scale narcotics and weapons smuggling operation that has allegedly spanned both countries.

In October 2013, Khaophone Sychantha, 32, aka Kao, whose last known residence was Lakeshore, Ontario, was charged in a four-count federal indictment with distribution of a controlled substance following a Detroit Border Enforcement Security Task Force investigation.

Officials say that according to public records in Canada and the United States, Sychantha, a dual citizen of Canada and Laos, is the suspected ring leader of a drug-smuggling organization which supplied millions of Ecstasy pills and hundreds of pounds of marijuana to several distributors located in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, Georgia and New York. Sychantha has also allegedly directed individuals to smuggle millions in bulk cash, guns, cocaine and heroin from the United States into Canada. He absconded before formally answering to the October distribution charges.

The October 2013 charge was the latest in a series of charges and convictions against Sychantha and his associates in both Canada and the United States. Since 2002, federal and Canadian authorities have arrested and convicted more than 25 individuals who were allegedly directed by Sychantha.

Although Sychantha was last living in the Lakeshore area, he has been known to maintain residences in other parts of Ontario including Windsor, LaSalle and Toronto.

Sychantha also has strong ties to the United States in Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, and abroad in Mexico, Laos, Hong Kong and Thailand, but authorities believe he may still be residing in the Midwest or southern Ontario.

“We are urging the public to provide any and all information they have about this man’s whereabouts because we know firsthand how powerful public input can be in our investigations,” said Marlon Miller, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Detroit. “Simply put, we want him off the streets.”

Anyone who may have information regarding the whereabouts of Khaophone Sychantha is asked to contact the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at 1-866-347-2423 or fill out an online tip form at www.ice.gov/tips.

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