Twenty-Nine Defendants Arrested As International Ecstasy Ring Is Dismantled
NOV 29 -- Atlanta, GA – Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter, DEA Atlanta Field Division Special Agent in Charge Rodney G. Benson, and Atlanta High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Director Jack Killorin announce the arrests of 29 defendants today for their role in an international MDMA (Ecstasy) trafficking organization. The defendants were indicted by a Gwinnett County Grand Jury on November 15, 2007. During the arrests, seven weapons, thousands of dollars of US Currency, and four vehicles were seized. During the course of this six month intensive investigation, approximately 65,000 ecstasy tablets collectively were seized.
The investigation targeted an Atlanta-based drug distribution network, with Canadian Sources of Supply, responsible for the distribution of MDMA throughout the Atlanta Metropolitan area, as well as in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee. Several of the Canadian sources have been identified and are included in the indictment. Other Canadian sources are being pursued, with the assistance of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Four of the indicted defendants remain at-large and are expected to be arrested.
During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Marietta Police Officer Issac SALEUMSY was an established member of this organization. He was charged in the indictment and was arrested early this morning.
“Today, the DEA, with the cooperation of a myriad of federal, state and local partners, delivered a forceful blow to a well organized multi-national ecstasy distribution organization,” said Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. The trafficking of these dangerous pills brings misery to the public and we remain dedicated to removing these deadly substances before they reach the consumer. The arrest of a fellow law enforcement officer saddens us, but we want to stress that anyone who breaks the law will be prosecuted. The Marietta Police Department handled this sensitive situation in an extremely professional manner, took action as soon as they became aware and provided assistance which was vital to the success of this case.”
The 29 defendants are charged for Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act as follows:
CONSPIRACY TO POSSESS ECSTASY WITH THE INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE ECSTASY
Sisouphanh PRABPHANE a/k/a "Gong," Keomany PHATTHANANOULAT a/k/a "Ley," Nongdeth VONGHACHACK a/k/a "Uncle Sam," Sinakhorn IMPRASEUTH a/k/a "Baldy," Isaac SALEUMSY, Jason LIN, Bounpheng LUANGKHOT a/k/a "Pheng," Tinoy NGUYEN, Hok. S. OUM, Chhunak PRAK a/k/a "Shorty," Phillip PHOSY a/k/a "Big Head," Saengpaseuth PHANTHAPANYA a/k/a "Seuth,” Standley JOSEPH, Jawah RODRIGUEZ, Chutima TREESRI, Somsouk PHETSENGDARA, Sipay PHOUANGPHANH, Laemthong SAENGALAM, Han Van Nguyen, Phaivanh THAMMAPHINITH, and Khamkheuang XAYAVONG.
TRAFFICKING IN ECSTASY AND CONSPIRACY TO POSSESS ECSTASY WITH THE INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE ECSTASY
Khamone LUANGKHOT, Sengduane PRABPHANE a/k/a "Gai," Khieo PHAKONEKHAM, Camille PONKAI a/k/a Khamphout KHOUNPHINITH, Phourisane SIDAMDOUAANE a/k/a "Sonny, " Phong TRUONG, Hau NGUYEN and Pandenh PHAKONEKHAM.
This investigation was conducted through the cooperative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Atlanta Police Department, the DeKalb County Police Department, the Fulton County Police Department, the Gwinnett County Police Department, the East Point Police Department, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, the Clayton County Police Department, the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Cobb County Police Department, the Roswell Police Department, the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office, the Alpharetta Police Department and the Atlanta HIDTA .
DEA Atlanta Field Division SAC Benson recommends parents and children educate themselves about the dangers of drug abuse by visiting DEA’s interactive website at www.justthinktwice.com.