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Press Release

Pierce County Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Plotting to Hire ‘Hit Man’ to Assassinate People in Vietnam

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Defendant Tried To Pay Undercover Federal Agents To Kill Seven People

A 48-year-old University Place, Washington man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 14 years in prison and five years of supervised release for 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, pleaded guilty in September 2013, admitting 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.  At sentencing U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said, “he committed two very serious offenses. . . you cannot dismiss this as mere puffery.”

According to records in the case, in March 2012 NGUYEN solicited an undercover Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) 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.  An undercover FBI agent posed as a possible assassin 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 HSI special agent of the four he wanted killed.  NGUYEN was arrested on July 7, 2012 and has been in custody ever since.

“Nguyen was adamant he wanted these people dead,” said Brad Bench special agent in charge of HSI Seattle.  “HSI and Vietnamese authorities had to act fast to save lives.  HSI has more than 70 international offices, and we work closely with foreign law enforcement to bring criminals such as Nguyen to justice.”

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from the FBI and Vietnam Ministry of Public Security.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jill Otake and Ye-Ting Woo.

Updated March 20, 2015