News and Press Releases

Installed Marijuana Grows in Six Houses Across Puget Sound Region

April 10, 2009

THANG D. NGUYEN, 39, of Renton, Washington, was sentenced today to five years in prison and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. On July 18 and 19, 2007, search warrants were executed at six homes connected to NGUYEN’s grow operation and seized nearly 2300 marijuana plants. NGUYEN and six co-defendants were indicted in July 2008. NGUYEN pleaded guilty on January 12, 2009. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez said, “He pulled many others with no criminal history into his criminal scheme; all are now felons, one now faces likely deportation.”

According to records filed in the case, in 2007 NGUYEN and his co-conspirators came to the attention of the Drug Enforcement Administration High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force in SeaTac, Washington. Investigators linked NGUYEN and his wife Tina Tran to six residences containing marijuana grows. The homes were on S. 162nd Street in SeaTac, on Maplewood Avenue in Kent, on 228th Street SW in Brier, on S. 301st Place in Federal Way, on S. 309th Street in Federal Way, and on 155th Street Court East in Puyallup. At the Renton NGUYEN residence that he shared with Tran, officers found documents linking the couple to the grows as well as growing supplies and written schedules for fertilizing the plants.

Asking for a five year prison term, Assistant United States Attorney Matt Diggs said NGUYEN earned well over half a million dollars with the grow operation. NGUYEN “played an organizational and multi-faceted role in the marijuana grow operation: he owned three of the houses; recruited the tenders of each house; orchestrated the harvests; and profited from the sale of the marijuana product,” Mr. Diggs wrote in his sentencing memo.

NGUYEN’s wife, Tina Tran, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 10, 2009.

NGUYEN and Tran forfeited to the government six houses used for the marijuana grows as well as approximately $20,000 in bank accounts and three cars.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Valley Narcotics Enforcement Team (VNET) which is comprised of law enforcement from the cities of Kent, Auburn, Tukwila and Renton.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Diggs.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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