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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pierce County Man Pleads Guilty to Hiring ‘Hit Man’ to Assassinate People in Vietnam

Defendant Tried To Pay Undercover Federal Agents To Kill Seven People

            A 45-year-old University Place, Washington man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to Conspiracy to Kill Persons in a Foreign Country and Solicitation to Commit a Crime of Violence, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. LONG VAN NGUYEN, admits that in 2012 he tried to pay to have various people in Vietnam killed.  NGUYEN thought that he was hiring an assassin to carry out the murders when in fact he was dealing with undercover federal law enforcement agents.  Prosecutors have agreed to recommend no more than 14 years in prison when NGUYEN is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik on January 10, 2014.  However, Judge Lasnik is not bound by the recommendation and can impose any sentence allowed by law.

            According to the plea agreement signed today, in March 2012 NGUYEN solicited an undercover Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent to assassinate people in Vietnam.  NGUYEN had told others that he had sent $100,000 to a nephew in Vietnam, instructing him to spend only the interest earned by the money.  Instead, the nephew spent all the money so NGUYEN wanted him killed.  The undercover agent told NGUYEN he had associates in Vietnam who could do the killings.  NGUYEN agreed to a plan whereby his nephew ‘Bon’ would show the ‘assassins’ who NGUYEN wanted killed.  After identifying two proposed victims, NGUYEN then instructed the undercover agent that he wanted the nephew ‘Bon’ killed as well.  A police officer in Vietnam, as well as an undercover FBI agent posed as possible assassins in the scheme.  NGUYEN paid the undercover FBI agent additional money for the hit, and added four more people to the list of those he wanted killed.  He provided pictures to the undercover Homeland Security special agent of the four he wanted killed.  NGUYEN was arrested at his home on July 7, 2012 and has been in custody ever since.

            Conspiracy to Kill Persons in a Foreign Country is punishable by up to life in prison and Solicitation to Commit a Crime of Violence is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

            The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from the FBI and law enforcement in Vietnam.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jill Otake and Ye-Ting Woo.
Updated March 23, 2015