Anti-drug police will deport an alleged American methamphetamine kingpin back to the US early this week in the wake of his Thursday arrest.
Christopher James Petersen, 38, has been in custody since he was arrested at his rented house in Phnom Penh’s Wat Phnom commune at about 11:30am, said Major General Sok Chour, deputy director of the Ministry of Interior’s anti-drug unit.
Petersen, who Chour described as a well-known drug trafficker from North Dakota, was subsequently charged with staying in Cambodia illegally after his passport was revoked.
Cambodian authorities were working in conjunction with US Drug Enforcement Agency agents based in Bangkok. Police said no drugs were found on Petersen when they arrested him.
Law enforcement in Phnom Penh took Petersen into custody about two months after a warrant out of Fargo, North Dakota, alleged he was part of a drug ring that distributed more than 500 grams of methamphetamine in North Dakota, Minnesota, California and other states, according to The Forum of Fargo-Moorehead newspaper.
He arrived in Cambodia on a tourist visa in May, Chour said. “We now are still working with the US Embassy in Cambodia in order to prepare for his expulsion from Cambodia,” he added, saying Petersen’s transfer to DEA agents will come early this week at Phnom Penh International Airport.
Petersen could not be reached for comment.