Washington D.C.-Based Internal Revenue Service Attorney Charged With Conspiracy To Distribute Methamphetamine
Defendant Allegedly Shipped Methamphetamine To Long Island
A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in the Eastern District of New York charging Jack Vitayanon with conspiring with others to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. Vitayanon, an attorney with the Internal Revenue Service, Office of Professional Responsibility in Washington, D.C, was arrested earlier today in Washington D.C.
The charges were announced by Robert L. Capers, 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 (HSI), New York.
As detailed in the complaint, Vitayanon conspired with others in Arizona and on Long Island to distribute methamphetamine for several years and recently 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 defendant’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.
“As alleged, the defendant – a federal attorney working for the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility – broke bad and supplemented his income by selling distribution quantities of methamphetamine,” stated United States Attorney Capers. “The defendant will now be held to account for his alleged criminal conduct.” Mr. Capers expressed his 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.
HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Melendez stated, “Selling methamphetamine is a serious crime which is made more egregious when it is committed by a U.S. government attorney assigned to the Office of Professional Responsibility of the IRS.” “People that sell this highly addictive and destructive drug must be brought to justice before more lives are lost to this epidemic.”
The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Section. Assistant United States Attorney Charles N. Rose is in charge of the prosecution.
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-MJ-80