Drug Enforcement Administration

San Diego

Karen I. Flowers, Special Agent in Charge

March 29, 2019

Contact: Kameron Korte

Phone Number: (571) 324-6204

20 defendants charged in drug indictments; One alleged trafficker charged in death of carfentanil user

SAN DIEGO – Three federal indictments unsealed in San Diego this week charge 20 people, including documented gang members and associates, with trafficking in oxycodone, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and ultra-deadly carfentanil from homes in City Heights, College Grove and Imperial Beach.

 

One defendant, Dat Pham Tien Tran aka “Damian,” is charged with distribution of carfentanil resulting in the death of his brother’s longtime girlfriend. The brother, Darren Pham Tran aka “Denny,” is charged with conspiracy to distribute carfentanil and oxycodone. According to a search warrant affidavit, Darren Pham Tran, who overdosed on August 25, 2017 but survived, found his girlfriend dead in her car a few days later, on September 3, 2017.

 

This week, members of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies made numerous arrests and searched 11 locations in San Diego. The brothers were arrested in College Grove and 12 others were taken into custody in locations throughout San Diego and Riverside counties. Another defendant was in state custody and four were still at large as of Thursday.

 

“Gang members profited off the trafficking of various dangerous drugs to include carfentanil – a synthetic opioid 100 times more potent than fentanyl,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Karen Flowers.  “Purging this gang from our community exemplifies our commitment to fighting violent street gangs and their impact on the opioid epidemic.”

 

 According to charging documents, the investigation targeted gang members from the Oriental Crips, Tiny Rascal Gang, Oriental Killer Boys, Viet Boys and Linda Vista 13 who set aside rivalries in order to maximize drug trafficking profits.

 

During the investigation, law enforcement learned that several of the defendants were involved in the distribution of prescription opioids and counterfeit prescription opioids laced with carfentanil.

 

Additionally, several of the defendants distributed marijuana to locations along the eastern seaboard using United Parcel Service and the United States Postal Service, according to court documents. Investigators identified defendant Manoxay Insisienmay as the principle marijuana distributor who obtained marijuana from grow operations in the Central District of California and then distributed it locally or shipped it out of state. Court records said Insisienmay operated from local drinking establishment “City Pub” on El Cajon Boulevard. According to the court documents, investigators learned that defendants processed and packaged marijuana at the apartment attached to the rear of the “City Pub.”  Investigators seized numerous parcels containing marijuana destined for Maryland where other individuals then distributed the marijuana. 

 

During the investigation, authorities also seized parcels containing drug proceeds mailed from out-of-state locations to San Diego, and identified several individuals operating “funnel accounts” on behalf of Insiseinmay. Drug distributors on the east coast made cash deposits into the funnel accounts;  the defendants then withdrew the cash in San Diego. Investigators identified in excess of $100,000 in cash transactions through the funnel accounts.

 

Investigators executed three marijuana-grow search warrants in the Central District of California and seized over 7,000 marijuana plants.  In addition, investigators executed a search warrant at an AirBnB and seized over $50,000 from out of state marijuana buyers who traveled from Florida to San Diego to buy marijuana.

 

If you have information regarding the fugitives in this case, please contact the San Diego DEA at 858-616-4100 or the San Diego FBI at 858-320-1800.

 

Other Agencies:  Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, San Diego Police Department, San Diego Sheriff Department, United States Attorney's Office

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