News Release
June 13, 2007
Contact: Casey McEnry
Number: 415-436-7994

3500 Dosage Units Of Ketamine And Over 5,000 Tablets Of Ecstasy
Seized In San Jose

Two Individuals Arrested and Charged with Federal Drug Violations

JUN 13 -- SAN JOSE - Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña and United States Attorney Scott N. Schools announce the arrest of two individuals and the seizure of approximately 5,000 ecstasy tablets and 70 vials of a substance believed to be Ketamine. Khanh Dang VU, 24, of San Jose and Lam Thanh NGUYEN, 35, of Santa Clara were charged today in San Jose Federal Court with Distribution of Ecstasy and Conspiracy to Distribute Ecstasy.

This investigation began earlier this month after VU allegedly began negotiating the sale one thousand-pill quantities of ecstasy, commonly known as a “boat”, for $2,500 - $2,700, and the sale of Ketamine as well. The investigation culminated yesterday after VU allegedly agreed to deliver 5,000 ecstasy tablets and vials of Ketamine to shopping center located on Capitol Expressway in San Jose.

Agents watching the Capitol Expressway area saw VU meeting with Lam Thanh NGUYEN, the driver of a 1998 Lexus sedan. VU was seen reaching into the trunk of the Lexus retrieving a large brown box and a bag. VU and NGUYEN were arrested without incident.

Agents seized approximately 5,000 ecstasy tablets and 70 vials of a substance believed to be Ketamine from the box and bag that VU retrieved from NGUYEN’s car. Each vial contained approximately 10ml of the substance. A ketamine dosage unit is approximately 20mg.

“These individuals could have put thousands of young lives at risk when they attempted to sell thousands of ecstasy tablets, often used at ‘raves’ and nightclubs. Unsuspecting women and men attempting to have fun with their friends are often given Ketamine by nefarious individuals wanting to commit violating sexual acts against them,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña,   “I have one thing to say to these individuals…today is your last dance.”

Following their arrests, agents obtained a federal search warrant for NGUYEN’s residence, a studio, attached to an address located on the 2200 block of Calabazas Blvd., Santa Clara. As a result of the search of NGYUEN’s studio agents seized a small amount of marijuana, baggies of a powdery substance believed to be Ketamine and approximately 250 ecstasy tablets. DEA estimates the street value of the drugs seized to be approximately $106,400.

Ketamine is a tranquilizer most commonly used on animals. The liquid form is odorless and colorless which can be injected, consumed in drinks or added to smokable materials. Ketamine is also known as Special “K”, Super “K”, jet, super acid, among other names. Ketamine use can cause delirium, amnesia, depression and long-term memory and cognitive difficulties. Due to its dissociative effects, it is sometimes used as a date-rape drug.

MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, “E”, “XTC”, among other names, is a synthetic psychoactive drug chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. MDMA can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature. Users of MDMA face many of the same risks as users of other stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamine --increases in heart rate and blood pressure, a special risk for people with circulatory problems or heart disease, and other symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count against VU and NGUYEN is 20 years imprisonment, $250,000 Fine, and 3 years of supervised release.  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.  A complaint contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, VU and NGUYEN must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California. This case is the result of investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration San Jose Resident Office.