News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2007

Four Lowell Men Sentenced On Crack Cocaine And Gun Charges

NOV 29 -- (Boston, MA) - Four Lowell men affiliated with street gangs were sentenced earlier this week in federal court for conspiring to distribute crack and powder cocaine and possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.

June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration - New England Field Division, United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan, Lowell Police Superintendent Kenneth E. Lavallee and Commissioner Edward Davis of the Boston Police Department, announced today that SOPHOAN OUNG, age 27, SOPHANARA OUNG, age 22, and PHAN MOUL, age 26, of Lowell, were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. A fourth individual, SROUCH KHUT, age 34, also of Lowell, was sentenced by Judge Saris as a career offender to 21 years and 8 months to be followed by 8 years supervised release for his participation in the crack cocaine conspiracy.

The four men pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine on August 15, 2007. In addition, the OUNGS and MOUL pled guilty to possessing firearms in furtherance of cocaine trafficking and possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Finally, SOPHANARA OUNG and MOUL both pled guilty to charges of distributing cocaine to an undercover police officer.

At the earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial, the Government’s evidence would have proven that SOPHOAN OUNG, a/k/a “HERSHEY,” was the supervisor of a drug trafficking organization operating in Lowell in the summer of 2005, which included his brother, SOPHANARA OUNG, a/k/a “BEE”, and PHAN MOUL, a/k/a “MAGEE”, both of whom were primary distributors of cocaine for the organization. One of the organization’s customers, SROUCH KHUT, purchased powdered cocaine from the OUNGS and MOUL and converted it to crack cocaine for redistribution.

During the course of this investigation, dubbed “Operation TRG,” undercover agents and confidential informants participated in several purchases of cocaine from the defendants. Agents then obtained court-authorized wiretaps on telephones used by the organization. During intercepted conversations, agents overheard the defendants discussing sales of cocaine and collections of drug proceeds. Conversations were also intercepted in which the OUNGS and MOUL discussed possessing various firearms, including a MAC 11 machine gun, and purchasing hollow-point ammunition. At the conclusion of the investigation agents searched several locations associated with the defendants and recovered approximately 2 kilograms of powder cocaine, 80 grams of crack cocaine, four handguns (one with an obliterated serial number) and cocaine processing equipment.

Two other defendants, Sokhorn Sean, age 22, of Lowell, and Guiber Quezada, age 29, of Lawrence, previously pled guilty to conspiring to distribute cocaine. Sean was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison to be followed by 3 years supervised release. Quezada is awaiting sentencing in December of this year.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration - New England Field Division, Lowell Police Department and the Boston Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William F. Bloomer and Robert Fisher of Sullivan’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.