FEDERAL JURY CONVICTS SUPPLIER OF INDOOR MARIJUANA GROWS
Owner of Scitek Garden Supply, LLC, in Auburn Convicted of Drug and Money Laundering Charges
Following a two and a half week trial, a federal jury today found THIET VAN TRAN, a/k/a David Tran, 41, of Seattle, guilty of Conspiracy to Manufacture Marijuana and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering. TRAN will be sentenced on May 15, 2009, by U.S. District Court Judge Richard A. Jones. These convictions carry a potential penalty of 10 years to life imprisonment, a potential fine of up to $4 million dollars, a term of supervision following release of up to five years, and potential forfeiture of several hundreds of thousands of dollars of drug proceeds, inventory, and property involved in the money laundering offense.
TRAN was the owner of Scitek Garden Supply, LLC, a retail and wholesale outlet located on Pike Street in Auburn, Washington. Evidence at trial established that TRAN and others, through Scitek Garden Supply, knowingly promoted the manufacture of large quantities of marijuana in indoor, residential operations throughout the region, by providing equipment, advice, and supplies, as well as other services, to marijuana growers. Trial evidence also established that TRAN and his conspirators laundered up to $1 million in cash proceeds generated by the marijuana conspiracy through Scitek’s business bank accounts.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Arnold R. Moorin stated, "Today's verdict is important in that it establishes a guideline between a business that contributes to the community versus one that profits from an illegal venture."
The charges against TRAN and Scitek Garden Supply arose in April of 2008, as part of “Operation Green Reaper,” a crackdown on suppliers and financiers of illegal indoor marijuana grows. Twelve others charged as part of Operation Green Reaper already have pleaded guilty to federal marijuana offenses. They are:
TRUONG QUANG LAM, a/k/a Tony Lam, 32, Auburn
SON HOANG BUI, 40, Lynnwood
TRAN SO LUONG, 46, Lynnwood
BE TRAN NGUYEN, 67, Auburn
QUE THI DANG, 58, Auburn
SARINA THI TRIEU, 43, Puyallup
TUONG TRUNG DUONG, 48, Puyallup
DIEP DAC MACH, 44, Renton
VAN THI TRIEU, 35, Puyallup
HENRY PHUNG, 37, Renton
HUNG VAN NGUYEN, 47, Seattle
BINH THANH VO, 41, Seattle