Canadian Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Charges
BOSTON – A Canadian man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with his role in a drug trafficking and money laundering organization that imported Canadian marijuana and MDMA, the club drug also known as “ecstasy” or “mollie,” into the United States.
David Nguyen, 40, of Toronto, Canada, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute MDMA and marijuana and one count of money laundering conspiracy. Nguyen was indicted in January 2014 and arrested in Canada in May 2014. In July 2016, Nguyen was ordered to be extradited, and in October 2016, he temporarily surrendered to the United States. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for Dec. 19, 2016.
From February 2010 to about March 2012, Nguyen conspired with others to move MDMA and marijuana over the Canadian-U.S. border. Nguyen and a Canadian co-conspirator, Gurshuran Singh, recruited couriers to drive MDMA and marijuana to Joshua Rabinovitch in Salem, Mass. Rabinovitch then sold the drugs in the U.S. and returned the proceeds to Canada.
In April 2012, Singh also recruited, Adeel Bhutta, to pick up $240,000 in drug proceeds from Rabinovitch’s sale of MDMA in Massachusetts.
In July 2014, Bhutta was sentenced to 28 months in prison for his role in the money laundering conspiracy. In February 2015, Rabinovitch was sentenced to 24 months in prison for his role in the drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracies. In August 2016, Singh pleaded guilty to participating in the drug and money laundering conspiracies and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 7, 2016.
The narcotics charge provides for a minimum mandatory sentence of five years and no greater than 40 years in prison, a minimum of three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $5 million. The money laundering charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement today. The Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance in securing Nguyen’s extradition to the United States. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seth B. Kosto of Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit and Timothy E. Moran of Ortiz’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit are prosecuting the case.