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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Minneapolis Woman Pleads Guilty to Her Role in a Drug Money Laundering Conspiracy

ST. PAUL – A Minneapolis woman has pleaded guilty to running a drug money laundering operation on behalf of a large-scale fentanyl and marijuana dealer, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, between December 2018 and August 2019, Phouvanh Keokaythinh, 37, laundered cash drug proceeds to conceal the drug trafficking activities of a group of gang members who operated as a drug trafficking organization that distributed heroin, fentanyl, and marijuana in and around the Twin Cities. Keokaythinh kept large amounts of cash drug proceeds for Lyndon Swarn, a large-scale fentanyl and marijuana dealer, at her family residence in Bloomington. Swarn’s drug income was generated from the production and sale of illegal fentanyl-laced Oxycodone pills, as well as the production and sale of large amounts of marijuana.

According to court documents, Keokaythinh used cash from Swarn’s drug proceeds to purchase a farm property in Ironwood, Michigan. Swarn and his associates used this property to illegally grow large amounts of marijuana. Keokaythinh and others laundered drug proceeds into a bank account owned by L&S Management LLC, a shell company used for the purchase, maintenance, and upkeep of the property in Ironwood. Keokaythinh also directed others to maintain a credit card that was used for Swarn’s personal spending and other expenses related to the drug trafficking conspiracy. Between January 2017 and March 2019, Keokaythinh and others used drug proceeds to make approximately $117,782.72 in payments on the credit card.

Keokaythinh pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court before Senior Judge Susan Richard Nelson to one count of concealment money laundering. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later time. 

On June 2, 2022, Swarn was convicted in Hennepin County of aiding and abetting first-degree murder in relation to the New Year’s Eve 2019 kidnapping and murder of a local real estate agent. On May 17, 2021, Swarn was convicted in U.S. District Court for possession with intent to distribute more than 33,000 fentanyl-laced Oxycodone pills.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the Hopkins Police Department, with assistance from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry M. Jacobs is prosecuting the case. 

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Drug Trafficking
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated January 11, 2023