Randy Sachs has been repatriated to Canada.

Randy Sachs, born March 10, 1977 from Hamilton Ontario [Canada] is serving a 16 year sentence in Vietnam, having been arrested May 30, 2003 with 1000 pills of ecstasy in his possession.

His mother Dee Hogle from Beaverton Ontario says it was a trip to Vietnam that went terribly wrong. Dee told CBC Radio that her son went to Vietnam to start an Internet Café Business. Randy has always loved the culture and the Vietnamese people. Randy himself speaks fluent Vietnamese.

When Dee first heard the news of her son's arrest, she sat in a state of disbelief for a few days before contacting the Canadian Consulate in Ottawa. They couldn't give her any specific details except to say that Randy and another Canadian Nguyen Van Hai , had been caught 'red handed' in Hanoi with 1000 ecstasy tablets. An investigation was underway and formal charges were yet to be filed. Vietnam has imposed the death penalty in the past for drug trafficking and routinely executes people who deal drugs.

Randy was transported to a building in the Chi Hoa District, 10 Ho Chi Minh City. Over 5,000 inmates are housed in this building. Randy was placed in KG Cell 20, a 3m x by 4m cell with 7 other inmates. He slept on a straw mat on a rough cement floor which is reportedly the standard in all Vietnam prisons. Other prisoners who have been detained in Chi Hoa say the conditions are primitive. There is no running water, no window and the light never shuts off. The only fresh air is when rice or soup is passed through a small hatch in the door. Prisoners are given 1 bowl of rice each, twice a day or 1 bowl of soup daily. They are not allowed visitors, phone calls, letters, messages or access to the outside world.

Randy was sentenced 16 years by the court in 2004 for possession of drugs. He was immediately transferred to Bo La prison for 1 month, then onto Z30D Thu Duc prison K4 Ham Tan, Binh Thuan province, Vietnam. Canadian Consular Officers have been granted regular access to Randy and are doing an excellent job in ensuring his immediate needs are met. The Vietnamese Authorities approved an examination by a dentist for Randy's teeth ailments which have all been treated and authorities continue to make every effort to ensure Randy has access to medical treatment.

On October 5, 2006, Dee Hogle was informed that Randy will be transferred to a prison in North Vietnam [Hanoi]. This news has been met with welcome relief as Randy will not be so isolated and will be detained in slightly better conditions. The Canadian consul supported the move by diplomatic note.

Randy is maintaining good spirits despite his situation and he asks that his love and thanks be passed on to his family and friends for their assistance and ongoing support.

We are all just so thrilled for Randy and his family. This has been such a long, hard slog but they’ve shown tremendous courage and determination. They have all conducted themselves with dignity and never once waivered in their support to Randy. As an advocate, I deal with hundreds of families all throughout the world, and I can safely say, that most all of them experience many days and nights of devastating anguish. I will never forget the email I received from Dee Hogle, all those years ago when she wrote to tell me that her son Randy had been arrested in Vietnam. It was around midnight when Dee returned home from a very busy midnight sale at her family clothing store. The phone rang. It was her eldest son’s friend calling from their home in Ontario. They were frantic as they told Dee that Randy had been arrested on drug charges in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Dee’s life, as she knew it, changed forever in that single moment.

Links to Help Randy James Sachs

Photo: Randy [rear] with his brother Robbie (7), sister Colbie (13) and Grandparents
As Randy`s grandmother, my heart is filled with worry and he is always in my prayers. We wish that he could come home to Canada and finish his sentence here instead of somewhere we have no contact with him. He is a good man and knows what he has done wrong but he most certainly doesn't deserve this horrendous burden. We worry for his health but know that he can pull through because he's got his family and friends to back him up. Please let him return to Canada to finish his sentence!

Wendy Harris
Randy's Grandmother

AMy name is Colbie and I am Randy's younger sister. He really does have a good heart but just made a big mistake! We miss him so much and pray every day that he will come home to Canada soon!

Randy's younger sister

Hi...I am Randy's little brother! I am sad that my brother can't come home now! He has been gone for so long. I hope he will still remember me. Please come home Randy!! I love you so much!!! XXXOOO

Robbie Harris
Randy's baby brother

As Grandparents of Randy James Sachs we humbly appeal to the Vietnamese Government to transfer Randy to a Canadian prison. We feel the Vietnam Government has enough compassion to honour our appeals immediately so our grandson can get the medical help he deserves.

Eileen & Bob Hogle
Randy's Grandparents

As Randy's step-father I respectfully request that the Vietnamese Government grant clemency/amnesty to Randy & allow him to return to Canada to serve the remainder of his sentence & receive the immediate medical attention that he needs. He has a very close loving family that will assume all financial debt/fines that Randy has incurred resulting from his incarceration. Please help us return him home to Canada, his heart-broken Mother, & fiancé, his younger sister & brother & myself as soon as possible! Robin Harris
Randy's Step-father

I am a cousin of Randy's and although what he did was wrong, he is still a human being. Please help Randy and let him serve his sentenced in Canada. My uncle BOB, Randy's grandfather, is 70 years old and is afraid he will never see his grandson alive again.

Please help Randy and my family!

Robert Beacock

21 June 2005

"We ALL are praying for you everyday!!

our Grandpa & Nanny Hogle are helping me cope. They are amazing pillars of strength who also love you unconditionally! Grandpa has written you another letter, too! Uncle Jim is helping as best he can, too! He is an amazing father and a truly wonderful man! Write him & Grandpa a letter and send them to me so I will forward them! Everyone sends their love, tears and laughter, to you Son! God bless you!! All of my love, determination and strength, I am enclosing for you!!

MOM [love and kisses]

In accordance with the September 2nd Declaration of Independence - 1945.
20 August 2005

His Excellency Tran Duc Luong
President of Vietnam
H.E. Mr. Nguyen Dy Nien,
Member of the Vietnamese Communist Party Central Committee
Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Honourable Ta Xuan Binh
Prisons Department Deputy Head

Your Excellency,

My name is Dee Hogle of Beaverton, Ontario in Canada. I am the mother of twenty-eight year old Canadian man, Randy James Sachs, currently detained in Thu Duc Prison, Vietnam.

In May 2003, my son received a 16-year sentence from the Vietnamese court for possession of a quantity of ecstasy tablets. My son admits that he made a terrible mistake and accepts the decision of the court, which found him guilty of a crime. As his mother, and on behalf of our entire family, we respectfully appeal for mercy to the Vietnamese Government to forgive our son Randy James Sachs for the wrongful acts he committed in Vietnam.

We have a fond regard for the Vietnamese people who have made untold sacrifices over many years to gain fundamental human rights, namely the right to live in independence and freedom, the right to food, clothing, housing, education, and dignity.

I believe that the Government of Vietnam has done its utmost to ensure the realization of human rights in general. It has developed the basic principles of these rights through the building and constant improvement of the legal system and by undertaking concrete measures aimed at promoting economic, social and cultural development so that every citizen can enjoy a better life both materially and spiritually in an equal, democratic and civilised society.

My son Randy James Sachs is deeply remorseful that his actions did seriously violate the laws of Vietnam. I know in my heart that he is sincerely regretful of the decisions he once made. Given the opportunity, I believe he will turn his life around to become a law abiding and upright citizen who may contribute to society and act as a lesson to others to always take the higher road.

As the mother of Randy James Sachs, I most mercifully make this heart felt appeal for Clemency on behalf of Randy's younger siblings Robbie and Colbie, his fiancé Le, his grandparents, his family and the hundreds of members of our community who respect the long-standing relationship that our two countries have enjoyed over the years.

It is our hope that this appeal for Clemency will be considered for the Anniversary of massive prisoner releases that the late communist leader, Ho Chi Minh marked as the occasion in celebration of the September 2nd Declaration of Independence, 60 years ago.


Mrs. Dee Hogle
Beaverton, Ontario,/

NOTE: This letter was delivered to the Government of Vietnam by the Embassy of Canada on behalf of the Family of Randy James Sachs.

August 2005
Re: Randy James Sachs Canadian detained in Vietnam

Dear Sir/Madam:
I would like to thank your amazing staff for all of the help, support and advice that they have provided me with. In particular, I would like to recognize Kay Danes as being my lifeline for the past two years. She has spent countless hours, on behalf of my son, creating a campaign page on FPSS, creating a petition, advising me prior to media interviews, drafting several professional letters for me, drafting two brilliant clemency appeals, which I have submitted to the President of Vietnam and other Vietnamese Officials.

Kay Danes is the most experienced and knowledgeable person that I have had contact with since my son was incarcerated in 2003. Unfortunately, her foreign prisoner experience is personal. She has given me inner strength and determination to continue for Randy and the rest of my family. There have been days when she has pulled me out of depths of depression, frustration and anger. Her survival in Laos has given her the necessary tools to be able to professionally help other families like mine. I can honestly say that I would have given up on Randy's repatriation, had Kay not been there to direct me, as I had absolutely no idea as to what to do for him. She has never given me any false or unrealistic hopes or promises, just the plain truth, which I totally respect her for. The research that she has done for me has proven to be most valuable and useful.

My entire family shares the same feelings of admiration and respect for Kay, especially my Dad, as he has seen first hand how incredibly hard she has worked for Randy and myself.

Your organization is extremely fortunate to have Kay Danes as an advocate. I am very blessed to have Kay Danes helping me and Randy!

God Bless each and every one of you at FPSS!

Best Regards,


If arrested, you should ask the local authorities to notify your Embassy or Consulate General. Remember that when in Vietnam, you are subject to Vietnamese laws.

Embassy and Consulate General representatives are not empowered to provide legal advice, finance the cost of a lawyer, or arrange for your release. They can however, contact your next of kin, arrange for messages to be sent to relatives and friends, work to protect your interests, and ensure you are not discriminated against. They can also visit you and inform you of local laws.

Further information concerning assistance for Canadians imprisoned abroad is available at this link… - Click Here

Randy Sachs Campaign - Update Feb 08 2009

Photo: Randy and his companion 'Lucky'.
"I pray everyday that our family survive this dreadful ordeal.... all I have now of my son are snap shots that remind me everyday that he is no longer that silly boy who boarded a plane five years ago!"

Canadian Randy Sachs, spends most of his days trying to endure the harsh reality of a Vietnamese prison and a sixteen year sentence handed down to him in May 2003. Remarkably he remains positive despite the fact that he hasn't seen his family since his nightmare began. Randy told FPSS advocates that he didn't want to put his family through any further distress, either physically or emotionally.

"They don't have the money to spend on airfares... and I really don't want my Mom to see me in this place" said Randy.

On the 21 Jan 2009, Randy was able to get a message to his mother via the Embassy;

"Hey mom, I got my sentence reduced 7mths today! So its a start and that's what counts. Keep smiling mom..... Love Randy.xoxo"

It is in the simplicity of these messages that Randy's family maintain their hope that oneday soon, they will embrace. A tiny thread holds them together and reminds them that every moment they have is precious.

There has been no further news on Randy's appeal for Clemency or Amnesty. He was given a seven month reduction in sentence for good behaviour. Indications lead FPSS to believe that foreigners do not easily obtain a sentence reduction in Vietnam so this reduction is most welcomed. According to Randy's family, the Canadian Embassy is hoping to schedule a meeting with Vietnamese authorities in mid-February. We hope that they will push Randy's appeal for mercy forward so that he can move one step closer to returning home to family and friends who miss him dearly.

A Nightmare of his own Making...

Photo Right: Randy Sachs, Canada. [Pictured middle]
Randy Sachs from Hamilton Ontario [Canada] turned 31 years old this year and unless he is granted Clemency from the Vietnam President, he will have to face another decade in a nightmare of his own making before finally being allowed to return home to family and friends.

In May 2003, Randy Sachs was arrested with 1000 pills of ecstasy in his possession. Caught 'Red handed' there's no denying that he broke the law and deserves to be punished. Even Randy himself admits that he was foolish to risk his life for easy cash. His friends say he let himself down, that he brought a great deal of shame on his family who were horrified when told the news of his arrest. They were then politely asked by authorities to pay for the body bag prior to his pending execution. Vietnamese authorities later commuted his sentence of death to the lesser charge of 16 years for drug possession.

Now 5 years on, Randy Sachs is presently housed in North Vietnam's Thanh Xuan Detention Centre, the only prison in the north of the country that has a strong focus on re-educating foreign prisoners. There are of course, hundreds of Asian and Western prisoners in the Thanh Xuan Detention but the conditions are considered better there than elsewhere in the country.

This year's Tet Festival or Vietnamese Lunar New Year was celebrated in Thanh Xuan prison. A time for family reunions, commemoration of ancestors, harmony and exchange of best wishes, special food, new clothes, new beginnings and other festive activities. Dozens of prisoners in Thanh Xuan prison had dressed in striped uniforms and made themselves busy by preparing meat and pork pies in anticipation of the celebration. In the middle of the activity stood Randy Sachs, eager to catch a 100kg pig by himself.

When asked about the Tet in Vietnam, he happily replied: "It's very enjoyable, especially the Square cake and Pork pies. They're so delicious". These are special treats provided to prisoners by the authorities in celebration of the event.

The Tet Festival came and went and with it no family reunion for Randy. They couldn't afford the air travel to Vietnam but they took some comfort in the fact that Randy was at least able to enjoy the festivities.

They continue to be grateful for the support he is given by the Canadian Embassy. They hope that the Vietnamese Authorities might show some further consideration to repatriating Randy to Canada; or grant him a second chance through Clemency.

Wendy Harris, Randy's grandmother says: 'My heart is filled with worry and he is always in my prayers. We wish that he could come home to Canada. He knows he's done wrong.'

Randy has his own message for the youth of today 'Don't be stupid … if you do drugs you could be tied to a post and shot!'

This from a young man who has obviously learned a very valuable lesson.

Another year is coming to a close. Another Christmas approaching and one that Dee and her family don't want to face. The thought of hanging Randy's stocking on the mantelpiece depresses her, along with the photographs she dusts that reveal how much they have all changed while Randy's photo remains just as it was when he left. Dee often wonders how she will cope. 'I will go to the midnight service at the church alone and pray as hard as I can for this nightmare to finally end. It's all I can do now. There's really no point blaming myself or anyone else for the choices my son made. I can only hope that he will come home and perhaps something good will come from all this suffering!' says Dee. 1

1 Families Behind Bars by Kay Danes - ISBN: 978 1 74110 6763 [New Holland Publishers] 2008

Randy Sachs Campaign Update 16 October 2007.

The Canadian Embassy visted Randy last week [October 2007]. He seemed to be coping okay despite the fact that he has been moved to a bigger cell with 60 other inmates. His monthly rice ration has now increased from 15kg to 18kg. In addition, if he has the money, he is allowed to spend $65 dollars on food per month. His medical costs have been absorbed by his family in Canada.

Please show support to Randy by assisting his family. It is after all, they who must financially bear the brunt of his continued detainment.

Randy's whole family.

Colbie [Randy's Sister] Nanny, Grampa,
[Grandparents] & Robbie [Randy's Brother]

Randy Sachs Update Jan 17, 2007

The Canadian consular staff visited Randy in jail on 14 Dec 2006 accompained by Ms Thu, an Embassy staff member acting as translator. Randy seemed to be in good physical and mental health despite the fact that he had appeared to have lost some weight. He has been given more food, as requested, and compliments his diet by buying extra with the money his family has sent. Randy reported that he did have a cold which is not uncommon at this time of year. Vietnamese authorities allowed Randy access to cold and flu medicine.

The detention centre authorities has arranged for him to undergo tests for HIV, Hepatitis A & B, and the results were negative for all. After consuls visit, Randy was being taken to a local hospital for a medical examination, dental treatment, eye examination and vaccines for Hep A & B.The detention centre will charge Randy for all expenses incurred. Randy was given his first shot for hepititis B. He had dental work done and his eyes checked. The Vietnamese authorities allowed Randy to purchase reading glasses. Consul staff bought Randy some basic supplies - food, pillow, toiletries, books and magazines. They gave him the Epi-pen sent by his family.

Randy had a message for his family:

"Thanks for sending the Epi-pen. I wrote letters to you before Christmas, to be sent via the Embassy, but they never made it to the Embassy. I will write again and I hope you'll get to read them. Wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Lots of Love, Randy."

Click here for Large Image
Randy also sends his prayers and best wishes to the families of those serving members of the 1st Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment currently in Afghanistan. He hopes the unit members remain safe and return to their families with God's speed. Randy was also very proud of his young brother Robbie, who paid tribute to the unit by wearing their unit name on his hockey helmut at a recent game. A unit member wrote to thank Robbie personally; 'Thanks for wearing that out there for us over here. It means alot and it is good that people are thinking of us.'

The letters Randy wrote for his family before Christmas went missing. They were written in English, translated then checked by the prison authorities before being sent to the Embassy. The Consul do not know what happened to the letters but are seeking approval for Randy to write letters and give to Consul at each visit. This is not a normal procedure but Consul have asked prison authorities to consider their request.

Conditions of the jail are tough as to be expected but Randy mentioned to Consul that he's being treated very well by the Vietnamese authorities. He's also much happier with the cooler weather which ranges from 13 to 20 degrees celcius with 78 % humidity during the day and 68% humidity during the evening. Consul staff brought clothes (donated by Canadians) for him, and some magazines. Randy had given consul a list of magazines and items that he would like them to purchase for him from the money his family sends.

Thank you to Suzanne Roch, Case Management Officer of the Foreign Affairs Canada who is temporarily replacing Marie-Pierre Martel until the end of January while she is traveling on business. Suzanne has done a wonderful job of keeping the family informed.

Update Randy Sachs - 14 December 2006

Click here to read the past and current updates.
The prison transfer

Since 8 October, Randy has been detained at Thanh Xuan Detention Centre, in Ha Tay Province on the outskirts of Hanoi. Embassy representatives met with the prison officials [8Nov06]. They said the administration and visit offices and courtyard appeared clean and airy. Randy mentioned he was pleased with the transfer. He seems to be in a good physical and mental state. His time is spent working as a "string manager" in the soccer ball stitching department, 6 days a week, 8 hours a day. On Sunday, he relaxes by reading and watching TV. He said he lives in a "spacious" dorm style room with 57 others. Inmates sleep on straw mats on the floor. Showers are bucket style. Premises are kept clean. There are a number of fans in the room, and a TV. Electricity is regular as the facility has a generator.

Randy said that although conditions in the prison are "tough", as far a comfort and less "freedom" than down south, Randy mentioned he's treated very well. He's happy with the cooler weather too. Consul brought clothes (donated by Canadians) for him, and some magazines. He has given Consul a list of magazines and items to buy for him, with his money, for the next visit.

Food and Water

Randy complained of not having enough rice and drinking water for his needs as he is much bigger than the average Vietnamese. The VN authorities agreed to allocate him more rice and drinking water, at a cost . Food can be bought from the prison canteen. He has given Consul a list of foodstuff, personal hygiene products, and other items to buy for him . Consul are going to purchase for him to ensure he has all that he requires. Prisoners are allowed to spend only 500,000vnd per month, but jail authorities agreed to let Randy spend 1,000,000vnd, due to his greater food needs. He had been advised that his transfer from the south to the north would cost about 10 million vnd, but there was in fact no charge.


Health wise, Randy has requested to have a blood test done to detect any possible diseases such as tetanus, Hep A, AIDS, after a fight in which he was cut with a razor blade in the previous detention centre. He also mentioned some dental work needing to be done, and the need for glasses. He requested to be vaccinated against Hep A. Jail authorities have verbally agreed, but the Embassy will send a Diplomatic Note to support his request.

As of December, 14, 2006, Consular staff visited Randy again and said that he seemed to be in good physical and mental health. He has been given more food, as requested, and complement his diet by buying snacks with the money his family has sent. The detention centre has arranged for him to undergo tests for Hep A & B, and the results were negative for both. After Consuls visit, Randy was being taken to a local hospital for a medical examination, dental treatment, eye examination and vaccines for Hep A & B.The detention centre will charge Randy for all expenses incurred.

Sending Letters and care packages

Family and friends can send letters and packages to:

Randy Sachs
Trai giam Thanh Xuan,
My Hung, Thanh Dai, Ha Tay, Vietnam.

Items such as foodstuffs, clothes, photos, can also be sent. Reading material not published in Vietnam must be checked and translated before it reaches Randy, and this service comes at a cost. The Canadian Consul will bring Randy some books and magazines on the next visit. Letters Randy wishes to send will be mailed to the Embassy after they have been checked.


Randy is allowed visits from his father, mother and siblings, as well as his wife, and her parents. This has to be requested by Diplomatic Note well in advance. Phone calls are not permitted.

Randy's special message to his family

"I love you. Keep working on trying to bringing me back home. Merry Christmas, love, and letters from me should be coming soon."

Note: FPSS would like to sincerely thank the Canadian Embassy for their tremendous support to Randy and his family. Also, a very special thank you to the Vietnam Government and Prison staff for all the good care and treatment they provide to Randy. We hope that sometime in the future Randy will be returned to his family in Canada where he can begin a new and most productive life.

  • Vietnam police seek to scrap death by firing squad. Click Here
  • Ecstasy Click Here
  • The Anti-Drug:Click Here
  • Office of National Drug Control Policy: Click Here
    Randy's family have found his detainment particularly difficult.

    They have dealt with the shock of his arrest and subsequent conviction. They are doing their best to deal with the fact that he is detained half a world away, and to provide the basic needs, legal expenses and ongoing support to him.Prisoners' families often blame themselves for not seeing what was coming. They often suffer tremendous humiliation; feel frightened, lonely and their needs are largely ignored because they often feel that they cannot confide in anyone. Since it is not practical for Randy's family to visit him from Canada, they rely on the compassion of others. The only thing the family truly wants is for Randy to be reunited with them. He is a prisoner in Vietnam, but equally, his family has become prisoners of circumstances beyond their control.

    If you would like to give some genuine moral support, letters, care packs, financial aid, postcards, etc.. to the family then please write to us - click here Or write to the Canadian Government and express your support to bring Randy Sachs home! Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada The Honorable Peter Gordon MacKay

    Emails: or
    The Honorable Peter Gordon MacKay
    New Glasgow 980
    East River Road New Glasgow,
    (T) 902-752-0226
    (F) 902-752-0284

    Please write to these groups below to express your support for Randy. Specifically, we want their assistance to support Randy's return home to Canada where he will have access to our care and support.

      Canadian Civil Liberties Association
      394 Bloor St. W, Suite 200
      Toronto, ON M5S 1X4
      Phone: 416-363-0321
      Fax: 416-861-1291
      E-mail: mail@ccla.orge

      Toronto Sun
      Thane Burnett

      Amnesty International [Ontario]
      312 Laurier Avenue East
      Ottawa, Ontario
      K1N 1H9
      Telephone: (613) 744-7667 OR 1-800-AMNESTY (266-3789)
      Fax: (613) 746-2411

      Amnesty International [Toronto]
      14 Dundonald Street
      Toronto, ON
      M4Y 1K2
      Telephone: (416) 363-9933
      Fax: (416) 363-3103

    Just in case you forgot - read the Universal declaration of Human Rights
    All information is © Copyright 1997 - 2005 'Foreign Prisoner Support Service' unless stated otherwise - Click here for the legal stuff