Department of Justice seal U.S. Department of Justice

Debra Wong Yang
United States Attorney
Central District of California


United States Courthouse
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
Release No. 06-085

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2006
For Information, Contact Public Affairs
Thom Mrozek (213) 894-6947

NEARLY 30-YEAR SENTENCE GIVEN TO ECSTASY TRAFFICKER


Los Angeles, CA - A resident of Paramount, California was sentenced today to 352 months in federal prison for his conviction on federal narcotics trafficking charges related to his importation of 200,000 doses of ecstasy.

Vince Edward Wilson, 41, received the 29?-year sentence from United States District Judge Robert M. Takasugi.

In December, Wilson was found guilty of 13 drug trafficking and weapons charges. The federal jury that heard the case found Wilson guilty of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, conspiracy to import a controlled substance into the United States, multiple counts of importation of a controlled substance into the United States, use of a firearm to facilitate a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The charges resulted from Wilson's participation in a conspiracy that was responsible for importing more than 100 pounds of 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine also known as MDMA and typically called ecstasy into the United States from Belgium. Wilson recruited a 19-year-old woman and sent her to Belgium to obtain the ecstacy. The woman shipped the drugs to the United States hidden in children's stuffed animals that had been hollowed out.

When Wilson's residence was searched at the conclusion of the case, law enforcement agents found more than 30 pounds of ecstacy, three loaded firearms and $36,000 in cash.

At today's sentencing hearing, Judge Takasugi noted that Wilson had several prior felony convictions in which he used a firearm, including one in which he held a loaded gun to the head of a department store clerk during a robbery.

Judge Takasugi stated that a lengthy sentence was necessary to protect the public from Wilson.

This case was investigated by agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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Release No. 06-085

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