Fresno Man Sentenced for Indoor Marijuana Operation in Fresno and Mendocino Counties
July 9 (Fresno, CA) —Richard Lieng, 29, of Fresno, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to two years and six months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiring to cultivate, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute more than 3,600 marijuana plants, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Judge O’Neill ordered Lieng to pay $23,719 in restitution to the owner of the property that was damaged in a fire caused by the diversion of electricity.
According to court documents, Lieng and his brothers, Xi “Andy” Lieng Jr., aka Andy Xi Lieng Jr., 43, of Fresno, and Tony Lieng, aka Ung A. Lieng, 38, of Clovis, and Jenny Chi Ha, aka Phuong A. Ha, 44, of Fresno, were involved in a conspiracy to cultivate and distribute marijuana grown in five homes in Fresno, Clovis, and Willits. Richard Lieng was personally involved in the cultivation of 1,612 marijuana plants at homes in Fresno and Willits. According to Lieng’s plea agreement, the marijuana grown in Mendocino County was transported to Fresno for distribution.
Lieng’s brothers are scheduled for sentencing before Judge O’Neill on July 23, 2012. Tony Lieng and Lynn Truong, aka Linh Thi Truong, 40, both pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud in connection with the acquisition of the grow houses. Truong is scheduled for sentencing on August 27, 2012. Ha was recently sentenced to one year and nine months for her participation in the mortgage fraud conspiracy.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation sponsored by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a focused interagency program investigating and prosecuting the most significant drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States by leveraging the combined expertise of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration led the investigation with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department, the Police Departments of Fresno and Clovis, the Fresno Fire Department, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, and the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE). Assistant United States Attorneys Karen A. Escobar and Yasin Mohammad are prosecuting the case.
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