A 36-year-old Little Saigon man who sold 10,000 Ecstasy tablets while unaware he was under FBI surveillance in an operation called "Candy Maker" had hoped to serve no more than one year in a federal prison.
Hung Xuan Dong of Westminster claims that government undercover agents and confidential informants entrapped him in the illegal narcotics deal, but a federal jury didn't buy that excuse earlier this year.
For his latest crimes, Dong--already a convicted burglar, robber and counterfeiter--could have faced as much as 262 months in prison, according to sentencing guidelines. A federal probation officer recommended incarceration for 180 months. However, Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Keenan sought a term of 210 months.
Inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana this week, U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna made the final call: 15 years in prison.
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Dong, who frequently made his 2009 drug deals on his cell phone and inside Little Saigon-area Vietnamese and American restaurants, sold his MDMA tablets for $3.50 each.
He likely thought that because a large percentage of his discussions and text messages were in Vietnamese the federal agents had no idea what he said. That would be a wrong assumption. The feds have a stockpile of native Vietnamese speakers who listen to recorded calls and translate the words.
Dong remains locked inside the Santa Ana Jail awaiting his long trip to a federal prison.