'Operation Green Reaper' Guilty Verdict
FEB 19 -- (Seattle) – DEA Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Arnold R. Moorin and the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, Jeffrey Sullivan, announced that following a two and a half week trial, a federal jury found Thiet Van Tran, 41, of Seattle, guilty of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Tran will be sentenced on May 15, 2009 and is facing a potential penalty of 10 years to life imprisonment and forfeiture of several hundreds of thousands of dollars of drug proceeds, inventory, and property involved in the money laundering offense.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Arnold R. Moorin stated, “Today’s verdict is important, in that, it establishes a guideline between a business that contributes to the community versus one that profits from an illegal venture.”
Tran was the owner of Scitek Garden Supply, LLC, a retail and wholesale outlet located on Pike Street in Auburn, Washington. Evidence at trial established that Tran and others, through Scitek Garden Supply, knowingly promoted the manufacture of large quantities of marijuana in indoor, residential operations throughout the region, by providing equipment, advice, and supplies, as well as other services, to marijuana growers. Trial evidence also established that Tran and his co-conspirators laundered up to $1 million in cash proceeds generated by the marijuana conspiracy through Scitek’s business accounts.
The charges against Tran and Scitek Garden Supply arose in April 2008, as part of “Operation Green Reaper,” a crackdown on suppliers and financiers of illegal indoor marijuana grows. Twelve others were charged as part of Operation Green Reaper and have pleaded guilty.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Valley Narcotics Enforcement Team (VNET includes officers from the Kent, Renton, Auburn, and Tukwila Police Departments), the South Snohomish County Narcotics Task Force (SSCNT includes officers from Lynnwood Police, Edmonds Police, and Mountlake Terrace Police), the Seattle Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Port of Seattle Police, King County Sheriff’s Office, and the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI).