Fraser Valley chef sentenced to seven years for million-dollar drug operation

Raymon Ranu has been working as a cook since he was arrested for selling fentanyl and cocaine

A man who has been working as a cook at a Chinese restaurant in Aldergrove was recently sentenced to seven years in prison for running a cocaine and fentanyl dealing operation out of an East Vancouver stash house.

Raymon Singh Ranu, 32, was convicted of eight counts of trafficking and three counts of possession of cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking on Dec. 15, 2017, after a lengthy trial.

Ranu was 28 when he was arrested in 2015 as part of Project Tainted, a Vancouver Police Department operation in cooperation with the RCMP and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU).

In late 2014, police began surveilling a home on Vancouver’s East 27th Avenue, watching people and vehicles come and go through hidden cameras.

Ranu himself turned up at the house on at least 45 of the 57 days that surveillance was undertaken.

An undercover officer, referred to as Mr. M in court documents, approached low-level dealers and claimed to be looking for drugs to resell in the Northwest Territories. He was eventually put in touch with Ranu, whom he usually met in a taxicab that was at Ranu’s “beck and call,” according to B.C. Supreme Court Judge Nancy Phillips.

Multiple meetings and drug deals ensued, while Ranu talked to the undercover officer about the potency of the drugs and how to deal with cash.

“He made clear he knew how to launder the proceeds of crime in casinos, another matter of concern to the community,” Phillips wrote in her sentencing ruling.

READ MORE: Looking forward to money laundering probe, Rich Coleman says

On Feb. 17, VPD raided the East 27th Avenue home and found a large quantity of drugs, eventually valued about more than $1 million and including 7.87 kilograms of cocaine, more than two kilograms of heroin, and thousands of fentanyl pills.

The same day, they raided a Tomicki Avenue home in Richmond where Ranu was present, finding $2,400 in marked bills that had been paid by the undercover officer Mr. M to Ranu for a drug buy earlier that month. They also found a further $17,010 in cash next to a wallet containing Ranu’s ID.

A co-accused and supplier of Ranu, Walter McCormick, 54, was sentenced to 14 years for his part in the scheme in a separate trial.

After his arrest, according to Phillips, Ranu took a job as a cook at a restaurant in Aldergrove. He has married his girlfriend and had a child in the year he was arrested.

“Reference letters submitted by members of his family described him as an active and loving father who has matured and lived a law-abiding life while these charges have been before the court for the past four years,” Phillips wrote.

However, she also noted his past criminal record, including two previous drug convictions, and the fact that Ranu knew how powerful the fentanyl and other drugs he was selling were.

“He preyed on persons who are dependent on drugs with the social cost and human suffering that conduct entails,” Phillips wrote.

In addition to a seven-year prison sentence, he has a lifetime firearms ban.

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