Drug dealer ‘donates’ $15,000 to public coffers

Judge Gouge said decision to continue dealing was a betrayal of trust

It’s rare, but sometimes the public can profit from a drug dealer.

That was the case last Friday in Campbell River provincial court when convicted dealer Cuong Luong forfeited $15,000 in bail money to the Crown.

“Mr. Luong simply chose to breach the conditions of his bail,” said Judge Ted Gouge.

Luong, 51, is presently serving an 18-month jail sentence for two drug trafficking convictions. He was first arrested in May 2012, but was released on bail conditions.

While on bail, Campbell River RCMP began investigating Luong again for trafficking. During raids in the city on March 13, Luong was arrested after  police seized heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and more than $42,000 in cash.

Nhi Ngo, 41, was also arrested in the same raids and she is presently awaiting trial on a single count of trafficking.

Following his second arrest, Luong was detained in custody and wound up pleading guilty to two counts of trafficking. He was given six months jail for the first offence and a year for the second.

However, federal Crown prosecutor Paul Corbett didn’t stop there. On Friday he asked the judge to forfeit the entirety of Luong’s $15,000 in bail from the first offence.

Defence lawyer Doug Marion suggested $8,000 was enough, but Judge Gouge said Luong’s decision to continue dealing was a betrayal of trust. He added that trafficking narcotics is a danger to the public not only because of the drugs, but because of the high potential for violence.