A suspect who had been on an American “Ten Most Wanted List” was extradited this week from Canada in order to face drug trafficking charges in the U.S.
The United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Michigan announced on Friday 41-year-old Khaophone Sychantha, a dual citizen of Laos and Canada, was first indicted by a grand jury in December 2005.
Sychantha was charged with conspiring to possess and intent to distribute methamphetamine, BZP, ecstasy, and marijuana between 2003 and 2011. He was also charged with three counts of possessing with the intent to distribute ecstasy and methamphetamine.
After these American indictments, Sychantha was arrested and charged in Canada on three additional criminal cases. Following Sychantha’s escape from house arrest in Canada, he was added him to the U.S. Homeland Security Investigation’s (HSI) “Ten Most Wanted List,” offering a reward of US$25,000 for information leading to his arrest.
Back in 2017, following an assaulting a police officer, Sychanta was arrested in Montreal, and has remained in Canadian custody while appealing his extradition to the U.S.
Sychanta made his initial appearance in U.S. federal court in Detroit Thursday.
U.S. attorney Dawn N. Ison said in a press release that she “commends the work of the agents from HSI and Canadian law enforcement for pursuing this long-time fugitive and significant drug trafficker.”
“Thanks to the coordinated efforts of our international partners, Sychantha will now face justice in the United States.”
HSI Detroit special agent Angie Salazar says these developments represent a move towards justice.
“HSI will continue to work with our partners both in the United States and across the globe to hold criminals accountable,” Salazar said in the press release.
“More than a decade has passed since this investigation began. I am proud of the HSI special agents, prosecutors, and law enforcement who did not let the passage of time prevent them from bringing the defendant to justice.”