TULSA — A four-count superseding indictment was unsealed Tuesday charging 11 defendants with conspiracy to defraud the United States and smuggle chemicals from China, substantive smuggling charges, and a money laundering conspiracy charge. The sealed superseding indictment was filed June 9.
U.S. Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr., Northern District of Oklahoma, announced these charges. This case is being investigated by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigations, and the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.
According to the superseding indictment, beginning in April 2011, the defendants conspired to defraud the United States through deceit and dishonest means to smuggle chemicals with fraudulent documents, and to sell and transport the chemicals after the chemicals had been smuggled into the United States.
The conspirators ordered chemicals from China and created fraudulent invoices and air waybills used to smuggle and transport the chemicals to residences, businesses, and other locations in Oklahoma, Nevada, Louisiana, California and New Jersey.
A coordinated a nationwide takedown occurred July 15 with arrests and search warrants in the following locations:
- Tulsa: 2 arrest warrants
- Baton Rouge: 3 search warrants and 2 arrest warrants
- Las Cruces: 1 arrest warrant
- Las Vegas: 1 arrest warrant
- New Orleans: 1 arrest warrant
- Huntington Beach, CA: 1 arrest warrant
- Santa Ana, CA: 1 arrest warrant
- Houston: 1 seizure warrant
The following defendants have been arrested:
- Ban Lam and Huong Thi Dao, in Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Tim Minh Tran and Ariel Dunn, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Denis Langevin, in Las Cruces, New Mexico
- Jason Eric Johnson, in Las Vegas, Nevada
- Liem Thanh Vu, in New Orleans, Louisiana
- Minh Thang Pham, in Huntington Beach, California
- Duc Huy Vu, in Santa Ana, California
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Janet Reincke, Catherine Depew and Gary L. Davis II are prosecuting this case.
An Indictment is one method of charging a defendant with alleged violations of Federal Law, which must be proven in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt to overcome a defendants' presumption of innocence.