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Drug courier gets 8 years for moving fentanyl between Victoria, Langley

Driver arrested in Delta after police spotted drug handover in Langley
A drug courier who was arrested with a kilogram of fentanyl has been sentenced to eight years in prison. (Cliff MacArthur/

A woman caught with a brick of fentanyl worth millions after a handoff in Langley will spend up to eight years in prison, despite her lack of any other criminal record.

Hong Dinh, who also goes by Carrie Dinh, was convicted of a single charge of possession of fentanyl for the purposes of trafficking in April, 2023. She was sentenced on Jan. 10 in Victoria Provincial Court by Justice Gordon Weatherill.

According to Weatherill’s sentencing ruling, Dinh was under police surveillance on May 3, 2019, when she took the ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen, then drove to a parking lot in Langley.

She rendezvoused with another vehicle, and exchanged bags with the other driver, putting a blue cloth bag in the trunk of her car.

Dinh headed straight back toward the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, but was arrested in Delta before she could get on board.

Inside the bag, police found a brick of just under one kilogram of fentanyl, with a purity of between 62 and 71 per cent, Weatherill said.

During the sentencing hearing, Crown counsel argued that Dinh should be jailed for nine years.

They acknowledged that Dinh was a “mere courier” and not the “organizing mind” of the drug operation.

But the sheer amount of fentanyl was considered a major factor in sentencing.

Depending on how it was cut and sold, the brick had an estimated street value of between $5 million to $9 million, and could have been sold as 200,000 to 600,000 individual doses.

The Crown also argued that Dinh was working entirely for personal financial gain.

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The defense argued that Dinh had no previous criminal record and has expressed remorse, including by an apology letter to the court. She has been on bail since one day after her arrest.

In the letter, Dinh wrote that her decision to become a drug courier was a “grave mistake” and that it has already had an enormous effect on her life.

The defense asked for a sentence of between four and six years in prison.

Weatherill noted a number of factors on Dinh’s favour, including supportive family, friends, and c0-workers, her lack of a previous criminal record, and the fact that she has a steady work history and is unlikely to re-offend.

“However, given the quantity and purity of the fentanyl in this case, she was nevertheless at the upper end of the courier spectrum of intentional risk‑taking and the consequential harm that would have been involved,” Weatherill wrote. “Her role was integral to facilitating the placement of fentanyl on the street.”

The primary considerations in sentencing when such a large amount of fentanyl is involved, Weatherill wrote, are denunciation and deterrence.

“Ms. Dinh’s moral blameworthiness is not attenuated by the fact that she was a mere courier,” Weatherill said.

Dinh apologized for her wrongdoing just before Weatherill passed the eight-year sentence. She has credit for one day of time already served, and will also have a lifetime ban on possessing firearms.

Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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