News Release
March 31, 2010
Contact: Mike Turner
Number: 720-895-4214  

Thornton Restauranteur Dan Tang Sentenced to Federal Prison for Money Laundering Illegal Marijuana Proceeds

MAR 31 --DENVER – Dan Khau Tang, age 47, of Thornton, Colorado, was sentenced today to serve 18 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release for money laundering illegal marijuana proceeds. The sentence was pronounced by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel. Chief Judge Daniel also ordered that Tang forfeit nearly $1 million. Tang, who is free on bond, was ordered to report to a facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons on or before August 16, 2010.

Dan Khau Tang was charged by Information on June 18, 2009. He pled guilty before Chief Judge Daniel on November 20, 2009. He was sentenced today, March 31, 2010.

According to the Information and the subsequent plea agreement, between January 1, 2007, and February 16, 2008, Dan Tang and others, did knowingly and intentionally conspire to conduct a series of financial transactions involving the proceeds from a specified unlawful activity, namely the cultivation and distribution of marijuana. The Information states that Tang knew that the financial transactions were designed to conceal and disguise the proceeds of the illegal activity.

Tang’s plea agreement states that upon conviction of the money laundering charge, that he, Tang, shall forfeit to the United States all of his right, title and interest in all property, including over $1.8 million in cash or money from bank accounts seized by the government. As part of the agreement, his wife also forfeited any right she may have had to the money.

The investigation into Tang started in September of 2007, when the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the North Metro Task Force targeted a large-scale Asian indoor marijuana cultivation and distribution organization in Metro Denver. The operation was spearheaded by members of Dan Tang’s immediate family, and employees of Tang’s restaurant, the Heaven Dragon. This investigation ultimately led to the dismantlement of 25 indoor marijuana grows, and the seizure of 24,056 marijuana plants, and the recovery of more than $1,000,000 in U.S. currency. The investigation also showed that Tang provided some of the financial assistance to organization members to purchase homes in the Denver Metro area. Some of the homes were then quickly converted into sophisticated marijuana grow operations.

The defendant was charged by Information, which means he waived his Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.

This investigation was conducted by the DEA, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, the North Metro Drug Task Force, the Adams County District Attorney’s Office, the Denver District Attorney’s Office, the Weld County District Attorney’s Office, the Northglenn Police Department, the Westminster Police Department, the Commerce City Police Department, the Federal Heights Police Department, Brighton Police Department, the Broomfield Police Department, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, the Thornton Police Department, the Firestone Police Department, the Frederick Police Department, the Denver Police Department, and the Lakewood Police Department.

Tang was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Podolak, the Chief of the Drug Task Force Section of the United States Attorney’s Office. The asset forfeiture was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney James Russell. The U.S. Attorney is David Gaouette.