Korean-American in Mexico meth case
Published : May 29, 2011 - 19:26
Updated : May 29, 2011 - 19:26
Gang member arrested; first time Mexican drugs found on sale here

The prosecution said Sunday they recently indicted a former Korean-American gang member for smuggling methamphetamine from Mexico and selling it here.

It was the first time that the drugs from Mexico have been found to be traded in Korea where most illegal drugs come from China.

According to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, the 42-year-old Moon was a former member of “LGKK,” or Last Generation Korean Killers, one of the largest drug dealing groups in California.

He is suspected of smuggling 287 grams of methamphetamine ― the amount for 9,600 doses worth 900 million won ($831,000) ― from Mexico 22 times between December 2009 and May last year.

In order to avoid a police dragnet, he divided the drugs by 5 to 50 grams and hid them in a total of 831,024 photo albums, Christmas cards and other decoration items, the prosecution said.

He also varied delivery addresses nationwide while receiving the profits from a bank account under a false name.

His crime was first discovered in January last year when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration found methamphetamine in a photo album sent from Mexico to Korea via an international delivery service.

After a five-month investigation with Korean authorities, Moon was imprisoned at a prison camp in Mexico. He said he bribed his way out of the jail just in eight days.

He was on the run for 10 months before he turned himself in to the Mexican police as the police tightened its investigation net. The Korean prosecution had him repatriated to Japan and then arrested him aboard the Korean plane on May 4.

“We have first confirmed the ‘Mexican route of drug trafficking,’ which connects Mexico, the U.S. and Korea. It will be helpful in the future crackdown on drug dealings coming from Central and South America,” said a prosecution official.

Moon immigrated to the U.S. in 1978 when he was nine years old. After serving 12 years on robbery charges while working for LGKK, he was expelled to Korea in 2001, and started drug dealing in 2009.

By Lee Ji-yoon (