CANTON — A Philadelphia, Pa., man who survived an attempt on his life Wednesday by members of an Asian drug gang in the city was charged recently with felony drug charges in St. Lawrence County and released from county jail on bail.
Thanh Voong, 20, was one of three people abducted by what police sources have told Philadelphia’s WPVI-TV are members of an Asian drug gang.
Mr. Voong and two other men, whose names have not been released by police but who were identified as being brothers, were bound, stabbed and thrown into the Schuylkill River. While the brothers died, Mr. Voong survived the attack, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
On Aug. 12, Mr. Voong, Kevin N. Huynh, 31, of Paoli, Pa., and Bowie Lung, 22, of Philadelphia, Pa., were all charged by state police with felony first-degree criminal possession of marijuana after a traffic stop by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Lisbon.
According to court documents, agent Joel Hein, who made the stop, said agents in Massena reported seeing a vehicle they believed to be connected to recent alien smuggling activity leaving the area. Police said there have been several reports of illegal immigrants of Asian origin moving into the U.S. from Canada by bus or car.
Agent Hein pulled over the vehicle, a white Ford Taurus with New York state license plates, on Route 37, and said when he learned the vehicle was a rental, he called for a K-9 unit.
In his statement, Agent Hein said that rental vehicles are often used for transporting illegal aliens and that large sedans, such as the Taurus, are “often considered the most practical means of transporting illegal aliens by those who engage in smuggling.”
None of the occupants in the vehicle had prior criminal records or active arrest warrants, Agent Hein said in his statement.
A free-air sniff of the vehicle’s exterior led to the discovery of 85 bags of marijuana, totaling 51.5 pounds, stuffed into a black duffle bag in the vehicle’s trunk
Mr. Voong, Mr. Huynh and Ms. Lung were arraigned Aug. 12 in Oswegatchie Town Court by Judge William J. Rupp and were sent to St. Lawrence County jail. Mr. Voong and Mr. Huynh were both released on $7,500 bail and Ms. Lung was released on $2,500 bail the same day and they returned to Philadelphia.
St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary E. Rain said she sought bail for the trio to be set at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond because of “the seriousness of the charge and the fact that the defendants were from out of the area.”
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Mr. Voong, who was identified as a 23-year-old Northern Liberties neighborhood man originally from Vietnam, took $40,000 to a house in the city early Wednesday at the request of the one of the two brothers who were being held by members of a violent Vietnamese drug crew. The captors allegedly had given the brothers $100,000 to buy drugs and they had gambled it away. The brothers told Mr. Voong the $40,000 would be enough to save their lives.
But when Mr. Voong arrived, it is alleged that he was robbed, bound, gagged and stabbed alongside the brothers, the paper reported.
According to the report, the three men were taken by the abductors to the river bank, where the brothers’ throats were slit, their legs were chained to buckets filled with tar and they were tossed into the shallows. Mr. Voong was stabbed multiple times but was not weighed down, and when he was tossed into the water, he played dead until his attackers left the scene.
Police told the paper that Mr. Voong managed to climb out of the river and “stagger — bloody, and wearing only his underwear — down Kelly Drive, where he flagged down a passing patrol car about 4 a.m.”
The brothers were found in the water shortly afterward. They were pronounced dead at the scene, the paper reported.
“Homicide Capt. James Clark said police were searching for five to six men they believed were involved in the killings,” The Inquirer reported. “The man who survived the attack has a criminal record and is well known to police, Clark said. He has also been targeted in the past, according to law enforcement sources.”