OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
FEBRUARY 24, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
INDEPENDENCE MAN SENTENCED FOR GROWING MARIJUANA
HUNDREDS OF PLANTS FOUND IN TWO HOMES
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Independence, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for growing hundreds of marijuana plants in two houses in Independence and Blue Springs.
Tam Ba Tran, 48, of Independence, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays this morning to five years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Tran to pay $7,227 in restitution for stolen electricity.
On Oct. 1, 2009, a federal jury found Tran guilty of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and two counts of manufacturing marijuana.
Law enforcement officers found 421 marijuana plants growing in the basement of a Blue Springs residence and 136 marijuana plants growing in the basement of an Independence residence. A total of 557 marijuana plants were found in the two residences, both of which were leased by Tran.
Tran was under surveillance by a law enforcement officer on Oct. 16, 2007, as he purchased large quantities of items from several businesses that could be used to cultivate marijuana in indoor grow operations. Law enforcement officers approached Tran at his Independence residence and received permission to enter the residence. The entire basement of the residence contained a large indoor marijuana grow operation. The basement was divided into three rooms, each lined with reflective covering and containing numerous large sodium pressure lights. Only one of the rooms actually contained marijuana plants, as well as numerous grow lamps, large amounts of liquid fertilizer, transformers, vent fans, soil and a water source.
Later that day, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the Blue Springs residence, where they found a similar marijuana grow operation. In addition to the marijuana plants, they recovered a black trash bag containing approximately 10 pounds of processed marijuana and two packages of marijuana in the crisper box of the refrigerator, one weighing approximately a half pound and the other weighing approximately one and a half pounds.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rudolph R. Rhodes, IV, and Charles E. Ambrose. It was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at