An admitted gang member from Rosemead faces a potential third-strike after he and his wife were arrested last week following a traffic stop in El Monte that led to the discovery of more than $20,000 worth of cocaine, authorities said.
Duong Che, 32, who is on parole for home-invasion robbery, and his wife Helena Hong, 30, of Rosemead, were booked on suspicion of possession of cocaine for sales and transportation following their arrests Thursday night, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and county booking records.
About a pound of cocaine was seized in the bust, with an estimated street value of $20,000 to $30,000, sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Kim said in a written statement.
Sheriff’s gang investigators assigned to the Asian Gang Team pulled Che over for a minor traffic violation as he was driving with his wife as a passenger near El Monte Superior Court, 11234 E. Valley Blvd., Kim said. Deputies discovered Che was on parole, giving them authority to search him and his vehicle.
Several packages of cocaine were found in his pocket, and more packages were found inside the vehicle, the sergeant said. More than nine ounces of the drug were recovered from the traffic stop, and Che and Hong were arrested.
Kim said investigators then turned their attention to Che’s home in the 7400 block of Whitmore Street in Rosemead, Kim said.
“During the search, an additional seven ounces of cocaine, and other evidence of narcotics — such as scales, empty bags and cash — were discovered and seized,” he added.
As a potential third-strike offender, Che faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted as charged, officials said. He was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance.
Hong was released from jail Friday afternoon after posting $60,000 bail, according to county booking records.
Both Che and Hong were scheduled to appear in El Monte Superior for arraignment Monday.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department