Two dozen people have been arrested and close to 14,000 pot plants seized in a crackdown on a three-county growing operation, federal officials announced today.
Investigators raided nearly 60 properties in Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties Tuesday, two-thirds of which contained active hydroponic marijuana grow houses, the U.S. Attorneys Office says.
"Yesterday's findings demonstrate the level of sophistication utilized by some organizations to conduct their alleged illegal activities," said Javier Peña of the Drug Enforcement Agency. "The DEA and its law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively and proactively target all areas of drug trafficking. Operations of this nature pose serious safety concerns for the occupants of the residences as well as entire neighborhoods."
Among those arrested:
Thu Loan Dinh, 35, Hong Nhut Dang, 41, Anh Quang Nguyen, 52, Van Long Tran, 33, Tien Van Nguyen, 43, Minh Pham, 58, Truong Quang Lam, 37, Gioi The Nguyen, 55, Quy Ngoc Nguyen, 39, and Khac Hung Dinh, 45, Houston; Long Nguyen, 32, Long Do, 32, Tam Nguyen, 52, and Thang Van Doan, 35, Conroe, Texas; Timmy Dang, 37, Huu Trong Vu, 23, Ida Nga Pham, 33, Vinh Cong Le, 27, Hung Huy Nguyen, 48, Thiet Van Nguyen, 49, Trang Thi Kim Truong, 40, and Thi Ngo, 46, Spring, Texas; Yen Thi Do, 42, Richmond, Texas; and Tai Tan Nguyen, 29, Tomball, Texas.
So yeah, look to see if you know anyone on that list.
Dinh Le, 47, has also been charged, but he was in state jail on an unrelated charge.
What the defendants face:
A conviction for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute carries as possible punishment a term of no less than 10 years and up to life in federal prison as well as a $10 million fine. If convicted of conspiracy to maintain a place of manufacturing, each defendant also faces up to 20 years in prison and a maximum $500,000 fine.