SACRAMENTO, CA-- Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that Son Nguyen, 41, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty today to distributing both methamphetamine and MDMA or Ecstasy (a popular club drug).
Nguyen was one of 51 defendants charged in nine related indictments stemming from a 13-month federal investigation with connections to six states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Alaska, Georgia, and California. Drugs seizures occurred in California, Alaska, Illinois, and Georgia.
According to court documents, Nguyen worked closely with the leader of one of the four drug rings federal and state investigators dismantled in August of 2008. Nguyen’s operation sold methamphetamine and MDMA in California, and shipped methamphetamine to Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
As a result of this investigation, officers seized over 25 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 15 firearms, six marijuana grow houses (approximately 300 to 1,300 plants per house), 13,000 MDMA pills, and a methamphetamine lab capable of producing 10 to 20 pounds of methamphetamine every 24 to 48 hours. Some defendants are also being charged with possession of 36 ¬pounds of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Investigators seized approximately $890,000 in alleged criminal assets over the course of the investigation.
This case is the product of an extensive, joint investigation by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the U.S. State Department; the United States Marshals Service; the Central Valley HIDTA; the Sacramento Police Department; the Folsom Police Department; the California Department of Justice (Cal-MMET); the Milwaukee HIDTA; Illinois State Police; Anchorage Police Department; Nevada County Sheriff’s Department; Yuba/Sutter County Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET-5); Placer County Sheriff’s Department; and the Los Angeles HIDTA. Assistant United States Attorney Michael M. Beckwith is prosecuting the case.
Nguyen is scheduled to be sentenced on October 21, 2011 by United States District Judge Garland E. Burrell, Jr. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison, a $4 million fine, and five years to life of supervised release. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.