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Pot-truck driver Hong Kong citizen
By ERICA JAHN
King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng has filed drug charges against a man arrested in Federal Way last Sunday in connection with a cargo truck carrying 120 pounds of marijuana.
Richard Yuen, 43, is scheduled to be arraigned March 24 for possessing marijuana with intent to manufacture or deliver.
He remains in custody on $250,000 bail. Because he lives in California and is a Hong Kong citizen, Yuen is considered a serious flight risk.
Federal Way Police officers approached Yuen in the parking lot of the Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse on Enchanted Parkway about 1:15 p.m. after a caller to police said he was acting suspiciously.
Officers said they heard noise coming from the the cargo portion of the truck, which was backed against some bushes in the parking lot, and noticed the tailgate was open about 10 inches, according to charging papers.
One of the officers opened the tailgate and saw Yuen wearing plastic gloves and holding a cordless screwdriver. Police said it appeared he was building a false wall in the back of the truck.
The officer saw a space filled to the ceiling with a green, leafy substance packaged in clear plastic. He noted the back of the truck smelled like marijuana, authorities said.
Police arrested Yuen , who admitted the substance was marijuana, authorities said. He was taken to the police station, where he told police he picked up the marijuana earlier in the day and was supposed to deliver it to California, according to charging papers.
He refused to give a written statement and said he didnt know the names, addresses or phone numbers of anyone else involved in the alleged drug run.
Police learned Yuen has several aliases, including Ricky Wong, Kin Park Wong and See Hoe Yuen, and, according to charging papers, theyre still unsure of his real identity.
Police arent sure where Yuen lives, though his last known address was in San Leandro, Calif., where police believe he lives with his wife. Because he is a Hong Kong citizen, police contacted the Hong Kong embassy and faxed a notice of his arrest to the consular offices. Police also have contacted immigration officers.
During a search of the cargo truck, police found 112 baggies of marijuana weighing about 1 pound each. Police estimated the street value of the marijuana to be up to $1.2 million.
The penalty for drug crimes involving two or more kilograms of a Schedule I or II drug is a maximum $100,000 fine for the first two kilos and $50 for every additional gram and up to 10 years in prison.
The state will seek an exceptional sentence because of the amount of marijuana that was seized, Maleng spokesman Dan Donohoe said.
Police must keep the marijuana in evidence for the duration of Yuens trial, police spokesman Kurt Schwan said, but when the trial concludes, police will take it out to a landfill and burn it.
Staff writer Erica Jahn: 925-5565, firstname.lastname@example.org