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November 5, 2020 Media Release

Fraud Over $5,000 – Arrest: R18-30054

In April 2018, Winnipeg Police detectives from the Financial Crimes Unit began an investigation into allegations of fraud at a local funeral home. Chad Wheeler was a licenced Funeral Director and operated Wheeler Funeral Home. In March of 2018, the Court of Queen's Bench ordered Wheeler Funeral Home into receivership and appointed a trustee. As a result, investigators were made aware of several individuals who had purchased pre-arranged funeral plans but were unable to ascertain the status of these plans.

Investigators discovered that between February 2006 and February 2018, 76 pre-arranged funeral plans were sold, however, funds totalling $175,000 were not placed into a trust.

Between January 2007 and April 2017, investigators discovered that 40 pre-arranged funeral insurance plans were sold without the funds being remitted to the corresponding insurance company. Losses to customers totalled $75,000.

Between August 2006 and December 2017, additional fraudulent activity was discovered, totalling $50,000.

In all, 139 victims reported losses of $300,000.

Chad Robert WHEELER, 46, has been charged with one overall count of Fraud Over $5,000. As prescribed by the Criminal Code of Canada, he was released on an Undertaking with a court date for January 2021.

Inter-Provincial Organized Crime Drug Network Dismantled

The Winnipeg Police Service initiated Project Wonders upon discovering an interprovincial organized crime drug network in early 2020.

This organized crime group's primary criminal activities involved the transportation of multiple kilograms of cocaine from southern Ontario into Winnipeg using conventional package delivery services to high-level drug traffickers.

As the scope of the investigation expanded inter-provincially, the Winnipeg Police Service enlisted the assistance of the Ontario Provincial Police Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau.

The investigation concluded on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, where nine search warrants were executed on five residences in Winnipeg and four residences in Southern Ontario.

The search warrants required more than 100 police officers working collaboratively in the two provinces to dismantle this group.

The following 11 adults were arrested and charged with 56 Criminal Code offences related to conspiracy, trafficking of a controlled substance, and proceeds of crime and firearms offences.

Melissa BARRION, 28, of Winnipeg
- Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking, to wit: Cocaine
- Possession of a Controlled Substance (Fentanyl)
- Possess Proceeds of Crime
- Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm x 2
- Store Firearm Contrary to Regulations
- Possess Firearm Obtained by Crime
- Possession of a Restricted Firearm with Ammunition
- Possess body armour without a valid permit (The Body Armour and Fortified Vehicle Control Act)

Allen CHEUNG, 34, of Markham, Ontario
- Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (Trafficking Cocaine)

Steven GRIFFITH, 28, of Winnipeg
- Unlawful Possession of Cannabis for the Purpose of Distribution
- Unlawful Possession of Cannabis for the Purpose of Selling

Thanh Xuan MAI, 36, of Maple, Ontario
- Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (Trafficking Cocaine)
- Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (Possess Proceeds Obtained by Crime Over $5000)
- Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (Trafficking Proceeds Obtained by Crime Over $5000)

Jordan NERY, 33, of Winnipeg
- Assault Cause Bodily Harm
- Utter Threats
- FTC Undertaking
- Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine)
- Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Fentanyl)
- Possess Prohibited Weapon
- Fail to Comply Court Order x 2
- Fail to Comply Undertaking x 2

Julian NERY, 28, of Winnipeg
- Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine x 2)
- Possession of a Controlled Substance of the Purpose of Trafficking (Fentanyl)

Hong Phong NGUYEN, 34, of North York, Ontario
- Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (Trafficking Cocaine)
- Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (Possess Proceeds Obtained by Crime Over $5000)
- Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (Trafficking Proceeds Obtained by Crime Over $5000)

Chester ROULETTE, 25, of Winnipeg
- Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine x 3)
- Possess Proceeds of Crime Under $5000
- Possession of a Prohibited Ammunition
- Unauthorized Possession of a Prohibited Device or Ammunition Contrary to a Prohibition Order

Brandon SADIUA, 28, of Winnipeg
- Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine x 4)
- Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Crack Cocaine)
- Possession of a Controlled Substance (Fentanyl)
- Possess Proceeds of Crime
- Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm x 2
- Store Firearm Contrary to Regulations
- Possess Firearm Obtained by Crime
- Possession of a Restricted Firearm with Ammunition
- Possess body armour without a valid permit (The Body Armour and Fortified Vehicle Control Act)

Nyke THORPE, 40, of Winnipeg
- Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (Trafficking Cocaine)
- Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (Possess Proceeds Obtained by Crime Over $5000)
- Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (Trafficking Proceeds Obtained by Crime Over $5000)
- Trafficking in a Controlled Substance to wit: Cocaine
- Trafficking Proceeds Obtained by Crime Over $5000
- Possess Proceeds of Crime Over $5000
- Use a forged document: Driver's License
- Mischief Under $5000

Trung Hieu TRAN, 33, of Vaughn, Ontario
- Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (Trafficking Cocaine)
- Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (Possess Proceeds Obtained by Crime Over $5000)
- Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (Trafficking Proceeds Obtained by Crime Over $5000

Notable Seizures:
- Approximately $300,000 in Canadian Currency
- 4 Kilograms of Cocaine (Wholesale Value $340,000.00)
- ½ Kilogram of Fentanyl (Wholesale Value $60,000)
- 500 grams of Psilocybin (Wholesale Value $2000.00)
- 10 grams of Ketamine (Wholesale Value $1000.00)
- Loaded Smith & Wesson .45 calibre handgun with five magazines, ammunition
- Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver
- Magazine and ammunition for a 9mm handgun.
- Ballistic Body Armour
- Digital Scales, Digital Money Counters, Drug Packaging Material, Cutting Agents, Vacuum Sealing Equipment, Safe, Documents and Records.
- Numerous mobile communication devices

This exceptional result demonstrates our ability as law enforcement and prosecutions to work collectively to detect, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations through targeted, proactive intelligence-led enforcement. The success of this investigation should be a reminder to those who wish to participate in organized crime that justice shall be served.
We want to acknowledge the assistance of the Ontario Provincial Police Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau. Additionally, FINTRAC, numerous WPS units, including the Organized Crime Unit, Crime Analysis Unit, Guns and Gangs Unit, Tactical Support Team, Drug Enforcement Unit, Technical Surveillance Unit, Affiant Unit, FIAS Unit, Canine and Uniform Operations all contributed to this successful conclusion.

Anyone with information on organized crime can contact crime stoppers where callers never have to reveal their identity, and you are eligible to receive an award. Contact 204 786 8477 (Tips) or visit www.winnipegcrimestoppers.org.


Constable Rob Carver, Public Information Officer
Constable Jay Murray, Public Information Officer
Constable Rachel Vertone, Public Information Officer

Kelly Dehn, Manager of Public Affairs

Office: 204-986-3061
E-mail: WPS-PIO@winnipeg.ca