Brothers Sentenced to Prison for Marijuana Production Conspiracy
JAN 09 – (Seattle, Washington) – Two King County brothers were sentenced January 6, 2012, in U.S. District court in Tacoma for their roles in a marijuana production and distribution conspiracy. Loc Dinh Nguyen, 43, of Renton, Washington, was sentenced to five years in prison, five years of supervised release, and $63,522 in restitution to Puget Sound Energy for stolen electricity at his marijuana grows. Luan Dinh Nguyen, 44, of Seattle, was sentenced to three years in prison, five years of supervised release, and $101,723 in restitution to Puget Sound Energy—again for stolen electricity.
The Nguyen brothers were arrested in March 2011, following an investigation of a criminal conspiracy involved in marijuana production. Members of the conspiracy operated Seapac Gardening Equipment, in Fife, Washington. The company supplied equipment and other supplies to manufacture marijuana. As early as 2008, Loc Nguyen grew marijuana in a hidden crawl space at his home in Renton. When law enforcement searched the home Nguyen shared with his wife and young children, they found a loaded firearm next to the bed in the master bedroom. Nguyen admitted the weapon was to guard the house and the marijuana grow. Police also found cash and 595 marijuana plants. Loc Nguyen pleaded guilty in October 2011 to manufacture of marijuana, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Luan Dinh Nguyen oversaw daily operations at Seapac and transported equipment and supplies from Seapac to the marijuana grows. Luan Nguyen allowed his identity to be used to purchase a property for a marijuana grow. This and other homes were eventually foreclosed upon by the banks when the mortgages went unpaid. In October 2011, Luan Nguyen pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana. Nguyen agreed to pay restitution for the electricity stolen at three marijuana grows houses in Renton.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), the Auburn Police Department and the Washington State Patrol (WSP).