Multi-State Drug Trafficking Organization Leads to Federal Indictment and Seizure of Assets
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Uy Nguyen, 34, of Vallejo, California, and Aaron M. Booker, 26, of Pensacola, were arraigned February 8 and today in the U.S. District Court in Pensacola after a federal grand jury returned an indictment, unsealed today, charging them with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The indictment was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
The indictment alleges that, between February 2015 and December 2017, Nguyen and Booker conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. The indictment also alleges that during the same time period, they conspired to launder money by transferring cash proceeds and purchasing precious metals and stones from funds of the drug trafficking conspiracy.
The indictment also seeks forfeiture of approximately $338,641 in U.S. currency; a firearm and ammunition; a cellular telephone; more than a dozen pieces of jewelry; and approximately 35 pieces of designer clothing and accessories.
Nguyen’s trial is scheduled for April 2, and Booker’s trial is scheduled for April 16, 2018.
If convicted, the defendants face 10 years to life in prison for the drug trafficking conspiracy and a maximum of 20 years in prison for the money laundering conspiracy.
An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case resulted from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Pensacola Police Department, the State Attorney’s Office – First Judicial Circuit, the U.S. Marshals, and the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program. Assistant United States Attorney David L. Goldberg is prosecuting the case.
This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.