BOSTON — A Canadian man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to charges related to his role in a drug trafficking and money laundering organization that imported Canadian marijuana and ecstasy into the United States.
This guilty plea resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
David Nguyen, 40, of Toronto, Canada, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute MDMA (aka “ecstasy” or “mollie”) and marijuana; and one count of conspiracy to launder money. Nguyen was indicted in January 2014, arrested in Canada in May 2014 and extradited to the United States in October 2016 after he temporarily surrendered to the United States.
From February 2010 to about March 2012, Nguyen admitted to conspiring with others to move MDMA and marijuana over the U.S. – Canadian border. Nguyen and a Canadian co-conspirator, Gurshuran Singh, recruited couriers to drive MDMA and marijuana to another co-conspirator, Joshua Rabinovitch in Salem, Massachusetts. Rabinovitch then sold the drugs in the U.S. and returned the proceeds to Canada.
In April 2012, Singh also recruited, Adeel Bhutta, to pick up $240,000 in drug proceeds from Rabinovitch’s sale of MDMA in Massachusetts.
In July 2014, Bhutta was sentenced to 28 months in prison for his role in the money laundering conspiracy. In February 2015, Rabinovitch was sentenced to 24 months in prison for his role in the drug-trafficking and money laundering conspiracies. In August 2016, Singh pleaded guilty to participating in the drug and money laundering conspiracies and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 7, 2016.
Nguyen’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 19, 2016. On the narcotics charges, Nguyen faces a mandatory sentence of five to 40 years in federal prison, followed by supervised release for a period of three years to life and a fine of $5 million. On the money laundering charge he faces up to 20 years in prison, three years’ of supervised release and a fine of $500,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance in securing Nguyen’s extradition to the United States. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seth B. Kosto of Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit and Timothy E. Moran of Ortiz’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit are prosecuting the case.