Drug Enforcement Administration

Denver

Deanne L. Reuter, Special Agent in Charge

October 07, 2019

Contact: Special Agent Randy Ladd

Phone Number: (571) 387-2270

Western Slope man sentenced to 7 years in federal prison for marijuana conspiracy

Defendant grew over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana both indoors and outdoors along the Western Slope

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced that Long Luong, aka “Peter”, was sentenced yesterday to serve 84 months (7 years) in federal prison for conspiracy to manufacture and possess with intent to distribute 1000 kilograms or more of marijuana and 1000 plants or more.  The sentence was imposed by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Marcia S. Krieger, who pronounced the sentence while in Grand Junction.  Luong was also ordered to serve 5 years on supervised release and pay a $30,000 fine.  Loung appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, and was remanded at the hearing’s conclusion. 

According to court documents, including the stipulated facts in Luong’s plea agreement, on September 18, 2016, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration were informed of a large outdoor marijuana grow operation in Rifle, Colorado.  Agents confirmed the existence of this grow and began surveillance.  The grow was located on property owned by co-defendant Heung Yu Wong.  The next day, agents observed numerous individuals harvesting marijuana plants and loading them into a large truck.  Shortly thereafter, agents observed many of these individuals attempting to flee from the grow operation.  Agents detained a number of the individuals, including the defendant and his wife, co-defendant Guoying Tang. 

Following the execution of a search warrant at the location, agents discovered 2,420 large, mature marijuana plants.  The defendant conspired with the co-defendants, and others, to cultivate and harvest this marijuana for illegal distribution.  Despite the prior warrant, on September 20, 2017, the defendant again conspired with his wife, co-defendant Guoying Tang, and others to cultivate and harvest a large field of marijuana in southwestern Colorado.  Luong, while supervising at least five others, harvested this field and loaded it onto two large trucks.  On September 23, 2017, one of the two trucks was intercepted by law enforcement and discovered to contain a significant quantity of freshly harvested marijuana that would result in at least 50 KG of usable marijuana.  This truck was destined for a warehouse located in Grand Junction, Colorado, where Luong and others supervised the cultivation of an additional 1,034 marijuana plants and the processing of marijuana for later distribution. 

As part of the investigation, a search warrant was also executed at the defendant’s home in Grand Junction, Colorado, which he shared with his wife.  Inside the defendant’s home, agents discovered a marijuana grow containing 179 marijuana plants.  The defendant and his wife cultivated these plants for further illegal distribution.  Also located in the home, hidden in a clothes hamper in the master bedroom, agents discovered a Beretta 9mm handgun.  This handgun belonged to the defendant. 

Luong and the two co-defendants were indicted on February 27, 2018.  Luong pled guilty before Magistrate Judge Gordon Gallagher on May 21, 2019.  He was sentenced on September 30, 2019.

“The cultivation of marijuana for the black market is an issue this office and our law enforcement partners continue to aggressively pursue,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn.  “The defendant will now face the consequences of growing and distributing this illegal product.”

“The DEA is committed to protecting our communities by working alongside our state and local law enforcement partners to identify and target the most significant threats to the public safety,” said Acting DEA Special Agent in Charge Deanne Reuter.  “Long Luong ran a massive illegal marijuana grow operation that flagrantly and grossly violated both federal and state law. The DEA will continue to target these large illegal grow operations that seek profit over the public well-being.”

This case was investigated by the DEA, with substantial assistance from ATF, Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team, Western Colorado Drug Task Force, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, and Grand Junction Police Department.  The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Chaffin in the U.S. Attorney’s Grand Junction office.

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