News Release
June 25, 2010
Contact: SA Melissa Bell
Public Information Officer
Number: (202) 616-4740

Ecstasy Dealer Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison

 JUN 25 -- (Alexandria, Va.) – Jonathan Pai, age 20, of Fairfax, Virginia, was sentenced to nine years in prison today based on his conviction for conspiracy to distribute Ecstasy (MDMA) and marijuana.  Ava Cooper-Davis, Special Agent in Charge for Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s Washington Division; Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent made the announcement after the sentencing hearing before United States District Judge James C. Cacheris. 

Pai entered a guilty plea on March 23, 2010.  In the statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Pai admitted selling marijuana and Ecstasy during 2009 and 2010.  According to the statement of facts, during 2009, Pai sold more than 7,000 Ecstasy tablets to an undercover officer at the Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Virginia.  Pai also admitted keeping a .45 caliber handgun at a drug stash house he and others maintained.  This gun was stolen during a burglary in December 2009 but was recovered by law enforcement during the execution of a search warrant in February 2010. 

Pai is the first defendant from this investigation to be sentenced.  Seven other defendants have been charged and each also has pleaded guilty.  Those defendants are:

  • Chen Chieh Yam, 29, Hyattsville, Maryland, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute Ecstasy and marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and money laundering.
  • Tofun Ali Ghasri, 22, Manassas, Virginia, who pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to distribute Ecstasy and marijuana.
  • Paul Bang, 18, Centreville, Virginia, who pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to distribute Ecstasy and marijuana.
  • Quang Huy Ho, 22, Fairfax, Virginia, who pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to distribute Ecstasy and marijuana.
  • Jeff L. Tsu, 31, Vienna, Virginia, who pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to distribute Ecstasy and marijuana.
  • Tam Phuong Tran, 23, Chantilly, Virginia, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.
  • Theodore Li, 23, Fairfax, Virginia, who pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Virginia State Police, the Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department and the Fairfax County Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel J. Grooms and Special Assistant United States Attorney Tritia Yuen.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.

# # #