News Release
Date: June 18, 2010
Contact: Casey McEnry
Number: 415-436-7994

Fresno Ecstasy Distributor Receives More Than 7 Years In Prison

JUN 18 -- (Fresno, Calif.) — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service Inspector in Charge Adam Brenhan announced today that United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced Siphay Phouangphanh, aka Bobby Chan, 32, of Fresno, to seven years and three months in prison for conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute MDMA (Ecstasy) pills. The judge also ordered him to pay the government $150,000, representing the proceeds he derived from trafficking the drug.  MDMA is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that is chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline.

This case is the product of a multistate Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation conducted by the DEA and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen A. Escobar prosecuted the case; Assistant U.S. Attorney Deanna L. Martinez assisted with forfeiture.

“This central valley drug distribution network had arms that reached across the United States. It was the dedication of law enforcement personnel in multiple jurisdictions that brought these traffickers to justice," stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams.

According court documents, the investigation took place in Fresno; Nashville, Tenn.; and Louisville, Ky. The bulk of the evidence was obtained from many coordinated federal wiretaps, including 3 wiretaps conducted by the DEA Fresno Resident Office, and 11 search warrants. The investigation culminated in the federal indictment of 20 defendants in the three cities. Five defendants, including Phouangphanh, were indicted and pleaded guilty in federal court in Fresno.  Thongsy Thannavong, 38, of Fresno was sentenced to 57 months in prison; Oley Thenbouapha, 25, of Fresno was sentenced to 37 months in prison; and Alan Tran, aka Davis Dat Tran, aka Phuong Tran, 35, was sentenced to one year in prison.  Amporn Pasasouk, 26, is scheduled for sentencing on June 25 before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill.

On April 12, 2010, Phouangphanh pleaded guilty to involvement in the drug conspiracy, admitting that for two years, he and his couriers made many interstate shipments of Ecstasy or “candy,” as he referred to the drug, to distributors in Nashville and Louisville. Payment for the ecstasy would then be shipped back to Fresno via mail parcels sent to Phouangphanh and his associates. Phouanghphanh acknowledged in his plea agreement that he received $150,000 in drug profits, which were sent to him through the U.S. Postal Service.

Phouangphanh is subject to deportation to Laos after he serves his prison sentence.

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