SEATTLE WOMAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR RUNNING WEB OF MARIJUANA GROWS
Woman Ran One Grow that was Scene of Double Murder
THUY THI NGOC NGUYEN, 37, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced today to five years in prison and five years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Manufacture Marijuana. THUY THI NGOC NGUYEN was tied to multiple indoor marijuana grows in Seattle and Everett. At sentencing, the federal prosecutor described how NGUYEN had recruited other Vietnamese immigrants to tend the plants and had shown them how to harvest the crop. In July 2007, two of the recruits were killed in an execution style killing at a marijuana grow NGUYEN organized in an Everett home. U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour cited that murder, and the danger to the community posed by the grow operations, when imposing sentence.
According to documents filed in the case, in May 2007, law enforcement started investigating a web of grow houses related to NGUYEN and her coconspirators. On July 2, 2007, Everett Police began investigating a double homicide at a home on Dexter Avenue. A man and a woman had been shot execution style in the midst of a marijuana grow. The home had been identified as part of the network of grow houses. Following the murder, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents and local law enforcement searched all of the grow houses, linking more than 2,000 plants to THUY THI NGOC NGUYEN. Everett Police later arrested two men for the murders. One told police that they had known about the marijuana grow in the Dexter Avenue home, and believed there was $40,000 to $80,000 there as well. The men killed the couple at the grow, as part of the robbery.
THUY THI NGOC NGUYEN pleaded guilty November 26, 2007.
In asking for a significant sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Lisca Borichewski told the court that the murdered couple had been recruited from the east coast, and NGUYEN provided them housing, instructed them on how to cultivate and harvest the marijuana at her grow sites, and paid them for their assistance thereby putting them in harms way. Ms. Borichewski noted that these grows pose a danger to the community as they “are in residential neighborhoods with families and children walking down the street.” THUY THI NGOC NGUYEN knew the danger of the grows – she had obtained two firearms in the months before the couple was killed at the Dexter Avenue house.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by the DEA, King County Sheriff’s Department and the Everett Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisca Borichewski.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.