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Feds bust California-Pittsburgh marijuana ring

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A federal grand jury last week indicted 20 people on drug and money laundering charges for distributing more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, according to court records unsealed Wednesday.

All the defendants are charged with drug conspiracy. Jennifer Chau Chieu and Philong Hau Chuong are also charged with money laundering conspiracy.

The indictment charges 11 Pennsylvania residents and nine California residents with participating in the drug ring. One person is identified only as 'Tuan' who is also known as 'Fat Boy' with an unknown address in California. The other 19 people indicted are:

- Jennifer Chau Chieu, 35, Scott
- Tom Ich Chieu, 33, Lower Lawrenceville
- Ngoc Phu Dinh, aka Phu or Crazy Phu, 52, Homestead
- Toron Brooks-Chapman, 34, East Liberty
- CaQuaine McGriff, aka Christy, 39, East Liberty
- Michael A. Fazio, 24, Lower Lawrenceville
- John Balistreiri, 29, Bloomfield
- Joseph Parker, 22, Garfield
- Christopher McNutt, 42, White Oak
- Dong Van Tran, 39, White Oak
- Richard Tran, 20, McCandless
- Han Tran, aka Henry, 41, San Lorenzo, Calif.
- Philong Hau Chuong, aka Phi or The Old Man, 48, San Leandro, Calif.
- Stanley Van Bach, aka Ah Ping, 43, Oakland, Calif.
- Quynh Tran, 28, San Jose, Calif.
- Kiet Quoc Son, 42, San Jose, Calif.
- Poi Tran, aka Ah Poi, 28, Oakland, Calif.
- Peter Tat, aka Cuong or Keung, 49, San Leandro, Calif.
- Jenny Kiu Say Truong, 48, Alameda, Calif.

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