June 06, 2014
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: (617) 557-2100
Five Worcester Residents Indicted For Marijuana Trafficking And Money Laundering Scheme
BOSTON - In a 91-count superseding indictment unsealed yesterday, five Worcester residents were charged with participating in a marijuana trafficking and money laundering scheme.
Michael J. Ferguson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division, United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston and Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service announced that Huy Anh Lam, a/k/a Henry; Nhi Ai Thi Lam, a/k/a Cindy, Cindy Nguyen, and Lien Mach; An Bao Lam, a/k/a Bao; Diemphuc Thi Lam, a/k/a Diem Lam and Deedee; and Dan Pham, all of Worcester, were charged with multiple crimes relating to the scheme, including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, money laundering conspiracy, structuring conspiracy, structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements, money laundering, unlawful monetary transactions, perjury, and aiding and abetting.
The first three defendants, Huy Lam, Nhi Lam, and An Bao Lam, were arrested yesterday in Worcester and appeared in U.S. District Court in Boston. All have been detained in custody pending a detention hearing which is scheduled for the afternoon of, June 10, 2014, in Boston.
Among other offenses, the superseding indictment alleges from April 2009 until the present, four of the defendants, Huy Lam, Nhi Lam, An Bao Lam, and Diemphuc Lam, conspired to traffic at least 100 kilograms of marijuana and that the conspiracy involved criminal activity in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, California, and Washington State.
The superseding indictment alleges that all five defendants conspired to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds in the course of renting vacation homes in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. The defendants conspired by receiving shipped packages of marijuana at the vacation homes, and exchanging cash drug proceeds in small denomination bills for apparently “clean” money by stuffing “huge amounts” of cash into casino slot machines in Connecticut and Rhode Island and then withdrawing it from the casinos in $100 bills. Furthermore, the defendants shipped large amounts of currency from New England to California and Washington via the U.S. Postal Service, Federal Express, and United Parcel Service. The defendants used drug proceeds in Massachusetts to purchase real property and luxury vehicles, including a 2012 Range Rover Sport SUV, a 2013 Cadillac Escalade, and a 2013 Nissan GT-R custom-built sports car. The vehicles have been seized by law enforcement for possible forfeiture in the criminal case.
The charge of marijuana conspiracy carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, a minimum of four years of supervised release and a $5 million fine. Each count of money laundering carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the laundered property. Each unlawful monetary transaction charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the value of the property involved. Each count of structuring carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Perjury carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.The case is being prosecuted by Richard L. Hoffman and Timothy E. Moran of Ortiz’s Strike Force Unit, Cory Flashner of Ortiz’s Worcester Branch Office and Doreen Rachal of Ortiz’s Asset Forfeiture Unit.