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Contraband
02/11/2013

Canadian woman pleads guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering charges

PHILADELPHIA – A Canadian woman pleaded guilty Monday to drug trafficking and money laundering charges following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Dung Ngoc Nguyen, 53, of Mississauga, Ontario, pleaded guilty to the charges at a hearing in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger announced Nguyen's guilty plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Fritchey and Robert Livermore prosecuted the case.

During the summer of 2006, HSI special agents were investigating two Philadelphia-based drug traffickers, John Q. Le and his then-girlfriend, Hanh Duong. Le was one of the largest drug dealers on the east coast with a network of customers stretching from New Jersey to Florida. Le imported large quantities of marijuana from various drug trafficking organizations in Canada.

Nguyen worked for one of these Canadian organizations as a broker. Nguyen took drug purchase orders from Le and Duong, made arrangements for marijuana to be smuggled into the United States, and made arrangements for the drug proceeds to be smuggled back to Canada. During the duration of the conspiracy, Nguyen admitted that she arranged to smuggle between 700 and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana into the United States.

Nguyen was subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury and extradited to the United States from Canada.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 8, 2013, where she faces up to 45 years in prison.