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February 1, 2017New York, NY, United StatesNarcotics

Washington-based IRS attorney charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine

NEW YORK — An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) attorney was arrested Wednesday for his alleged role in the shipment of methamphetamine to Long Island from his apartment in Washington, an act spanning several years.   The investigation was initiated by U.S. Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York with assistance from HSI’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) group in Washington and HSI Tucson.

Jack Vitayanon, 41, is an attorney with the IRS for the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) in Washington. Vitayanon is facing charges of conspiring with others to distribute 500 grams or more of Methamphetamine.

“Selling methamphetamine is a serious crime which is made more egregious when it is committed by a U.S. government attorney assigned to the Office of Professional Responsibility of the IRS,” said Angel Melendez, special agent in charge HSI New York. “People that sell this highly addictive and destructive drug must be brought to justice before more lives are lost to this epidemic.”

“As alleged, the defendant – a federal attorney working for the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility – broke bad and supplemented his income by selling distribution quantities of methamphetamine,” stated United States Attorney Robert E. Capers for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY). “The defendant will now be held to account for his alleged criminal conduct.”

As detailed in the complaint, Vitayanon conspired with others in Arizona and on Long Island to distribute methamphetamine for several years and recently negotiated and consummated the sales of distribution quantities of methamphetamine to undercover HSI special agents on Long Island. The negotiations occurred via recorded internet-based video chats and text messages, and Vitayanon shipped the methamphetamine from his apartment in Washington D.C. to Long Island via Federal Express.

The recipient of the package, acting at the direction of law enforcement, recorded a video chat with Vitayanon over the internet on Dec. 15, 2016.  During the recorded conversation, Vitayanon was observed in his residence smoking what appeared to be methamphetamine from a glass pipe, according to the complaint.

A search of Vitayanon’s Washington D.C. apartment executed pursuant to a court-authorized search warrant led to the seizure of additional quantities of suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, packaging materials and drug ledgers.

This case is being prosecuted by EDNY’s  Long Island Criminal Division. The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.