News Release
December 12, 2008
Contact: Thomas E. Murphy
(314) 538-4660

More Ecstasy Traffickers Sentenced to Prison

DEC 12 -- (Davenport, IA) - On December 10 and 11, 2008, three additional defendants, who were involved with an internationally-connected Ecstasy trafficking ring located in the Quad Cities, Illinois/Iowa area, were sentenced, announced United States Attorney Matthew G. Whitaker. The defendants were sentenced by United States District Judge John A. Jarvey as follows:

  • Steven Anthony WEBSTER, age 23, was sentenced to 87 months imprisonment to be followed by six years supervised release;
  • Van Phong NGUYEN, age 29, was sentenced to 210 months imprisonment to be followed by six years supervised release; and,
  • Nam Trong Tung NGUYEN, age 29, was sentenced to 188 months imprisonment to be followed by three years supervised release;

WEBSTER, a resident of Davenport, was in participant in a regional Ecstasy trafficking ring operating out of the Quad Cities but also active elsewhere in the Midwest, including Wisconsin and other parts of Iowa and Illinois. The ring obtained Ecstasy supplies from New England, Minnesota, California, Canada, and elsewhere internationally.

Van NGUYEN, a resident of Milpitas, CA, with Asian gang connections, furnished Ecstasy to the Quad Cities ring as well as separate trafficking rings in Minnesota.

Nam NGUYEN, a resident of Denver, CO, helped broker drug dealers between Quad Cities dealers and Ecstasy sources in California and Canada.

WEBSTER pleaded guilty as charged on June 13, 2008. Van NGUYEN and Nam NGUYEN were found guilty as charged following separate trials during late July and early August 2008. Thus far, 13 individuals have been convicted and sentenced a result of this investigation. Ecstasy, or MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), is a synthetic, psychoactive drug chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. MDMA is a Schedule I controlled substance that acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic, producing an energizing effect, as well as distortions in time and perception.

This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa and investigated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Iowa Department of Narcotics Enforcement, Quad Cities Metropolitan Enforcement Group, Davenport Police Department, Bettendorf Police Department, and Moline Police Department.