News Release
March 26, 2012
Contact: DEA Public Affairs
Number: 415-436-7994

Sanger, California Marijuana Grower Pleads Guilty
--More Than 7,000 Plants Seized—

March 26, (Fresno, CA) — Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Douangchanh Keovilayvanh, 40, of Sanger, pleaded guilty today to possessing a firearm in furtherance of marijuana trafficking at his residence on a 54-acre agricultural parcel.

According to the guilty plea, on November 10, 2010, agents searched Keovilayvanh’s residence and found a .22-caliber GSG/5 rifle and 10 rounds of .22-caliber Winchester long rifle ammunition, along with 60 pounds of processed marijuana. Agents also found approximately 4,620 marijuana plants growing outside in the adjacent field, along with approximately 2,445 plants being processed.

The agricultural parcel where Keovilayvanh resided is the subject of separate federal civil forfeiture proceedings.

Keovilayvanh is scheduled for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on June 25, 2012. He faces a mandatory prison sentence of five years, a maximum term of life, and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from California Department of Justice Central Valley Marijuana Investigation Team and Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Karen A. Escobar is prosecuting the criminal case and Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Khasigian and Alyson Berg are handling the forfeiture of the Sanger property.