Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

September 29, 2015

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7994

Long Beach Man Sentenced To 6 Years & 4 Months In Prison For Trafficking Oxycodone And Hydrocodone

FRESNO, Calif. - Sarith Chim, 34, of Long Beach, was sentenced today to six years and four months in prison by U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii for conspiring to distribute oxycodone and hydrocodone pills.

According to court documents, in April 11, 2013, Chim and his co-defendants were indicted for a scheme where the defendants obtained prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone from a doctor in Visalia, filled those prescriptions at pharmacies in Modesto, and then transported and mailed the pills to others involved in the conspiracy in Washington state for distribution on the black market. After illegally selling the pills, the defendants deposited the cash proceeds of the sales into bank accounts held by Chim and co‑defendants in California from which the funds were then withdrawn by Chim. Deposits and withdrawals were made in amounts of $10,000 or less to prevent Currency Transactions Reports from being filed by the banks on their cash deposits. Banks are required to file these reports on transactions greater than $10,000, and the reports are filed with the Department of the Treasury and are made available to law enforcement.

Co-defendants in this case were sentenced as follows:
David Ruem, 10 years in prison;
Phary Chim, four years and three months in prison;
Sdey Chim, four years in prison;
Chanrath Yath, three years and four months in prison;
Chanrou Yath, three years in prison;
Phally Thach, 2.5 years in prison;
Raeb Chou, two years in prison;
Loc Huu Chau, one year in prison;
Cindy Doeum, three years of probation; and
Chantha Chim, three years of probation.

In addition, the doctor responsible for writing the prescriptions to the defendants in this case, Terrell Brown, 63, was sentenced  by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to four years and nine months in prison for illegally distributing oxycodone and structuring financial transactions. He is currently in federal custody.

One remaining defendant, Say Eng, the mother of Sarith Chim, is scheduled for trial on March 29, 2016. The charges against her are only allegations; she is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is being brought as part of Operation Footprint, a nationwide law enforcement initiative led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the Internal Revenue Service- Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Operation Footprint targets large drug trafficking organizations by identifying the transfer of drug proceeds through financial institutions, bulk cash smuggling and other forms of money transfers. Operation Footprint is focused on bringing criminal charges based on Bank Secrecy Act violations in addition to violations of the Controlled Substances Act and the Money Laundering Control Act.

This case is also the product of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF), a focused multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force investigating and prosecuting the most significant drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States by leveraging the combined expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorney Grant B. Rabenn is prosecuting the case.

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