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03/14/2014

Washington man sentence to 14 years for international murder-for-hire plot

SEATTLE — A Washington state man was sentenced to 14 years in prison and five years' supervised release for plotting to hire assassins to murder several people, including a family member in Vietnam.

Long Van Nguyen, 48, of University Place, pleaded guilty last September to conspiracy to kill persons in a foreign country and solicitation to commit a crime of violence. Nguyen's plot began to unravel when he was put into contact with someone he believed could help him arrange the Vietnam murders. That person was an undercover special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

According to court records, in early March 2012, Nguyen told the undercover HSI special agent he needed help arranging the murders and that his nephew in Vietnam would assist in identifying the targets for the agent's overseas hit men. What the nephew did not know is that he was also a target.

Nguyen had sent $100,000 to the nephew with instructions he only spend the interest earned on the money. Nguyen was angered when he learned the nephew disobeyed his instructions and spent nearly half the money. After the nephew pointed out the targets, Nguyen told U.S. undercover agents the nephew had served his purpose and he wanted him killed too.

In total, Nguyen hired the undercover HSI special agent to kill seven people in Vietnam, agreeing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for the executions. He paid an advance sum and made it clear he would not pay for attempted assassinations that left people injured. He would only pay if the targets were actually killed.

The case was investigated by HSI Seattle with assistance from HSI Vietnam, the FBI and the Vietnam Ministry of Public Security. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington prosecuted the case.