News and Press Releases

Columbia, Md., Man Pleads Guilty of Armed Robberies Targeting Asian Small Businesses

January 21, 2010

(ALEXANDRIA, Va) - Tuan Minh Nguyen, 32, of Columbia, Md., pleaded guilty today to participating in a string of armed robberies targeting Asian restaurant and small business owners. 

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; John G. Perren, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office; Col. David M. Rohrer, Chief of Fairfax County Police; J. Thomas Manger, Chief of Montgomery County Police; Lieutenant Michael Thompson of the Maryland State Police; and Tim Cameron, St. Mary’s County Sheriff; made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Anthony J. Trenga.

            Nguyen was indicted on Sept. 10, 2009, by a federal grand jury on conspiracy to affect commerce by robbery and use of firearms during a crime of violence.  Sentencing has been set for April 30, 2010.  Nguyen faces a maximum penalty of 20 years for the robbery conspiracy charge, followed by a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison for the firearms charge.

            According to the statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Nguyen and his co-conspirators targeted the owners of Pho restaurants, Asian supermarkets and small businesses for robbery.  The conspirators armed themselves with guns to gain entry to the homes and wore masks and gloves to conceal their identities.  Once inside, they physically restrained their victims, including children and elderly adults, through force, violence and threats of violence.  The defendant and his co-conspirators shared with one another the proceeds of their robberies, typically cash, firearms, jewelry and electronics.

            This case was investigated by the FBI, Fairfax County Police Department, Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland State Police and the St. Mary’s County Police Department in Maryland.  Assistant United States Attorney Kim Pedersen is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

            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  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on



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