A federal grand jury in San Diego has indicted two men linked to a Canadian company on racketeering and drug charges over allegations they helped import and distribute narcotics around the world through the sale of encrypted communications devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jose Luis Magana

A federal grand jury in San Diego has indicted two men linked to a Canadian company on racketeering and drug charges over allegations they helped import and distribute narcotics around the world through the sale of encrypted communications devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jose Luis Magana

Men linked to Canada-based company indicted in major U.S. drug investigation

It is alleged that devices from Sky Global are designed to prevent police from monitoring criminal communications

A federal grand jury in San Diego has indicted two men linked to a Canadian company on racketeering and drug charges over allegations they helped import and distribute narcotics around the world through the sale of encrypted communications devices.

The U.S. Justice Department says the indictment alleges that devices from Canada-based Sky Global are designed to prevent law enforcement from monitoring the communications between members of transnational criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.

The indictment alleges that Sky Global installs sophisticated encryption software in cellphones that allow users to communicate with each other in a closed network through encrypted servers in Canada and France.

It alleges that Sky Global used the system to facilitate the importation, exportation, and distribution of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine into Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America, including the United States and Canada.

The indictment also alleges the system was used to help launder the proceeds of drug trafficking and obstruct investigations.

The U.S. Justice Department says Jean-Francois Eap, Sky Global’s chief executive officer, and Thomas Herdman, a former distributor of the devices, are charged with conspiracy to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

Warrants were issued for their arrests Friday following an investigation that included the RCMP.

“The indictment alleges that Sky Global generated hundreds of millions of dollars providing a service that allowed criminal networks around the world to hide their international drug trafficking activity from law enforcement,” Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in the release.

“Companies who do this are perpetuating the deadliest drug epidemic in our nation’s history.”

The U.S. Justice Department says on March 10, Europol announced that judicial and law enforcement authorities in Belgium, France and the Netherlands had wiretapped Sky Global’s servers and monitored hundreds of millions of messages by Sky Global’s users.

It says the investigation in Europe resulted in hundreds of arrests, the seizure of thousands of kilograms of cocaine and methamphetamine, hundreds of firearms, and millions of euros.

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald said in the release that technological advancements can lead to increased levels of criminal sophistication, but also new tools for police to combat crime.

“The RCMP will continue to adopt new technologies and strategies to keep our communities safe,” he said.

“Collaboration with our international policing partners, such as in this case with the FBI and DEA, has become an integral part in the ever-evolving fight against organized crime.”

Sky Global Inc. has corporate offices in Vancouver.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta completed 18,412 COVID-19 tests, as reported on Wednesday, for a test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Highest daily count of 2021 so far: Alberta reports 1,699 COVID-19 cases

Variants now make up 59 per cent of Alberta’s active cases

Screen grab/ https://www.alberta.ca/stats/covid-19-alberta-statistics.htm#geospatial
COVID-19 cases continue to grow in the Wetaskiwin area

The City of Wetaskiwin currently has 141 active cases.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Boston Pizza is one of the Wetaskiwin restaurants currently setting up a patio for in-person dining. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
City of Wetaskiwin to wave permit fees for temporary patio applications

City of Wetaskiwin Council unanimously carried a motion at the regular April… Continue reading

Kevin Buffalo in his traditional chicken dance regalia. (Photo submitted)
3rd Inaugural Grouse Symposium goes online

Virtual symposium will be held April 24

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

sign
Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

Ryan Applegarth. (RCMP photo)
Preliminary hearing date set for Applegarth

Ryan Jake Applegarth appeared briefly before the Ponoka Provincial Court over CCTV… Continue reading

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Most Read