FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 02, 2010
Contact: DEA Special Agent Douglas S. Collier, M.A.
Public Information Officer
TEL: (973) 776-1143
Philadelphia Cocaine Dealer Sentenced To Over 17 Years
In Federal Prison for Heading Drug Conspiracy
DEC 02 -- (TRENTON, N.J.) – Philadelphia-based cocaine dealer Phong Q. Trinh was sentenced
today to 210 months in federal prison for his role in a Philadelphia-based drug conspiracy that
distributed over $1 million worth of cocaine in Philadelphia and Trenton.
Trinh, 38, pleaded guilty on May 27, 2008, before Judge Wolfson to one count of
conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of
cocaine. Judge Wolfson also imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Trinh admitted that he conspired with others to distribute between 50 and 150 kilograms
of cocaine, which was sold in multi-kilogram quantities by Trinh to other cocaine distributors in
Philadelphia and Trenton at a wholesale price. The government estimated that Trinh distributed
between $1 million and $3 million worth of cocaine during the course of the conspiracy – based
on a wholesale value of between $20,000 and $25,000 per kilogram.
Trinh purchased muli-kilogram shipments of cocaine from a supplier in the Riverside,
Calif., area and arranged the transport of the cocaine back to the Philadelphia area, at times using
couriers driving vehicles equipped with hidden compartments that could hide large amounts of
narcotics and cash. After the arrest of one of these couriers in July 2005 and the seizure of 22
kilograms of cocaine, Trinh’s California-based supplier took over the transportation of the
cocaine, delivering it to Trinh and his associates in Philadelphia.
Trinh paid and directed couriers, who then distributed the drugs to other cocaine dealers
who were his customers. Trinh and a co-conspirator collected the proceeds from the other
dealers, communicating using multiple, pre-paid cell phones. Their communications included
text messaging using an alpha-numeric code, and they switched cell phones and numbers
repeatedly in an effort to avoid detection.
In addition to the prison term, Wolfson sentenced Trinh to five years of supervised
release and ordered him to pay a $5,000 fine. As part of his plea agreement, Trinh agreed to
forfeit approximately $25,000 in cash and several luxury watches which were seized from his
Philadelphia apartment on January 12, 2007, the day of his arrest.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s
Camden Resident Office and intelligence analysts from DEA’s Newark Field Division, under the
direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge John G. McCabe Jr., and the Mercer County
Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini, Jr., for the
investigation of the case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick C. Askin of the U.S.
Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.