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Jan. 4, 2012

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Leader of Ecstasy Ring Gets 16 Years in Federal Prison

HOUSTON - Long Vo, 52, of Houston, has been sentenced to 192 months in federal prison for conspiracy to possess and distribute MDMA (ecstasy), United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. 

In March of 2008, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) and the FBI initiated an complex investigation into a large-scale Asian criminal enterprise based in Houston which revealed that Vo, the leader of the organization, commanded various illegal drug smuggling operations within the Southern District of Texas. It was further determined that Vo was a dominant distributor of ecstasy in the Houston area. Vo was linked to the distribution of more than 300,000 ecstasy pills to undercover federal agents during the course of the investigation. The scope of his criminal enterprise extended into multiple states within the United States and had international ties to Vietnam and Canada. The investigation involved significant undercover operations and an extensive forensic financial investigations. 

Vo was arrested by federal authorities on July 13, 2010. During his arrest and subsequent search of his residence, more than 20 pounds of ecstasy pills were seized.

Vo was indicted on July 12, 2010, and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and distribute MDMA on May 9, 2011. Previously released on bond, Vo was ordered into federal custody by United States District Court Judge Vanessa Gilmore immediately after sentencing today pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. Co-defendants Kimberly Nguyen, Cong Thang Dinh, Hai Thanh Le and Hungson Doan, all of Houston, are all currently on bond pending their respective sentencing hearings in early February.

The case was investigated IRS-CI and the FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Craig Feazel and former Assistant United States Attorney Mark White III.