USAO Home Page
    DOJ Seal

    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947

    Return to the 2010 Press Release Index
    Release No. 10-076

    April 26, 2010


    SANTA ANA, California – A New Orleans man who was a special agent with the FBI for over a decade was sentenced today to 360 months in federal prison for scheming to commit a home-invasion robbery at a residence he thought was a drug “stash house.”

    Vo Duong Tran, 42, was sentenced this afternoon by United States District Judge Andrew J. Guilford.

    Judge Guildford this afternoon also sentenced Tran’s accomplice, Yu Sung Park, 36, of Wilmette, Illinois, to a 30-year prison term.

    Tran and Park were found guilty in March 2009 of four felony counts: conspiracy to commit a robbery affecting interstate commerce, interstate travel to commit a crime of violence with a firearm, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and possession of a machine gun. The third charge – possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, coupled with the jury’s special findings that they possessed a machine gun and two silencer-equipped handguns – carried a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in prison.

    Tran organized, and Park agreed to participant in, a scheme to commit a violent home-invasion robbery of a house in Fountain Valley, California. During last year’s trial, prosecutors played for the jury scores of undercover recordings in which Tran repeatedly expressed an interest in traveling from New Orleans to Orange County to commit an armed robbery. Tran also said that he wanted to have one of his trusted, “dialed-in” associates participate in the robbery. Tran also stated that he would provide the necessary “tools” and “equipment,” namely, firearms, silencers and bullet-proof vests.

    Tran and Park traveled to Southern California in 2008 and stayed at a Fountain Valley hotel. On the night of July 14, Tran and Park met with two men to plan an armed, home-invasion robbery at a house in Fountain Valley. In statements that were recorded, both Tran and Park instructed two undercover operatives to shoot any victim inside the house who did not follow instructions. Tran and Park had been informed that the house was operated by a drug trafficking organization and was filled with drugs and cash. However, unbeknownst to them at the time, the purported drug stash house was vacant, and the other two persons attending the meeting were an undercover FBI agent and a private citizen working with the FBI.

    Tran and Park were arrested after this meeting, and federal agents executed a search warrant at their hotel room, where they found five firearms, including a machine gun, a silencer-equipped assault rifle and a .22-caliber handgun equipped with an integrated silencer. Agents also found 630 rounds of ammunition loaded into 30 separate magazines, two bullet-proof vests, camouflage clothing and electrical zip-ties that, according to defendants’ recorded statements, were to be used to handcuff any persons found inside the targeted house.

    Tran worked as a special agent in the FBI’s Chicago Division Office from 1992 to April 2003. The evidence presented at trial showed that Tran was suspended by the FBI and placed on administrative leave in August 2001, and the FBI terminated his employment in April 2003.

    Park had prior experience in law enforcement as well. He previously worked as an auxiliary officer with the Police Department for the city of Niles, Illinois.

    The prosecution of Tran and Park is the result of a joint investigation by the Fountain Valley Police Department, the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Los Angeles. Considerable assistance was provided throughout the investigation by the Regional Narcotics Suppression Program (a narcotics task force based in Orange County), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago and Louisiana, and the FBI in Louisiana and Chicago.


    Release No. 10-076

    Return to the 2010 Press Release Index