Former Washington D.C.-Based Internal Revenue Service Attorney Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine
Defendant Shipped Distribution Quantities of Methamphetamine to Long Island
Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York, Jack Vitayanon pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to distribute over 500 grams of methamphetamine. According to court filings and facts presented during the plea proceeding, at the time of his February 2017 arrest in Washington, D.C., Vitayanon was employed as an Attorney-Advisor by the United States Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, Office of Professional Responsibility.
Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations New York (HSI), announced the guilty plea.
Ms. Rohde also expressed her grateful appreciation to the United States Treasury Department Inspector General, HSI’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area group in Washington, D.C. and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
As detailed in the complaint, Vitayanon conspired with others in Arizona and on Long Island to distribute methamphetamine for several years. Vitayanon negotiated and consummated the sales of distribution quantities of methamphetamine to undercover HSI special agents on Long Island. The negotiations occurred via recorded internet-based video chats and text messages, and the defendant shipped the methamphetamine from his apartment in Washington D.C. to Long Island via Federal Express.
The recipient of the package, acting at the direction of law enforcement, recorded a video chat with Vitayanon over the internet on Dec. 15, 2016, and, during the recorded conversation, Vitayanon was observed in his residence smoking what appeared to be methamphetamine from a glass pipe, according to the complaint.
A search of the Vitayanon’s Washington D.C. apartment executed pursuant to a court-authorized search warrant led to the seizure of additional quantities of suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, packaging materials and drug ledgers.
Today’s proceeding took place before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert. When sentenced, Vitayanon faces up to life in prison, as well as forfeiture and a fine of up to $10 million.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorney Charles N. Rose is in charge of the prosecution.
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-80 (JS)