HOUSTON—An illegal alien from Vietnam has been sentenced to 140 months in federal prison for his role in a criminal enterprise involving the growth and marketing of hydroponic marijuana, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Bich Xuan Dang, 39, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 100 marijuana plants on February 22, 2012. Today, U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison handed him the federal sentence, which was enhanced due to his classification as a career offender after multiple prior convictions for crimes of violence.
A joint state-federal task force arrested Dang inside a residence in Katy, Texas that had been converted into a sophisticated hydroponic marijuana growth facility. In addition to arresting Dang, officers seized nearly 300 marijuana plants together with the array of grow lamps, ballasts, blower fans, water and air filtration systems, and growth media that Dang and his organization used to produce the marijuana. When arrested, Dang was armed with a semi-automatic pistol and a 30-round extended magazine.
Dang has been in custody since his arrest, where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Kusin.