- The Washington Times - Friday, December 19, 2003

A federal grand jury in Alexandria yesterday unsealed a 25-count indictment charging seven suspected members of a Vietnamese gang with murder, robbery, burglary, drug trafficking and credit-card fraud in a wave of criminal activity in Virginia, Maryland and the District.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty said the indictment, sought after a two-year investigation, charges Cuong Gia Le, Phu V. Ho, Loc Tien Nguyen, Nam Nguyen, Nguyen Nguyen, Vu Hoang Nguyen and Ky Truong Quach with racketeering and related violent crimes as members of an Asian gang known as the “Oriental Playboys.”

Mr. McNulty said the indictment, returned early this month but initially kept sealed, charges that the seven men, along with 10 others who have pleaded guilty to related charges, were associates of the Oriental Playboys.

From August 2000 until July, they engaged in violent acts “including murder, attempted murder and robbery, as well as burglaries, the distribution of Ecstasy and crack cocaine, and credit card fraud,” the indictment states.

Mr. McNulty said the indictment charges Cuong Gia Le with racketeering, numerous crimes of violence in aid of racketeering activity, numerous firearms charges and conspiracy to affect commerce through robbery.

The indictment specifically charges that on May 13, 2001, Cuong Gia Le shot and killed Long Phi Nguyen and Binh Anh Luu at the Majestic Crab House in Fairfax County, and that the remaining six defendants helped him avoid capture until he was arrested in July near Seattle.

“The indictment further alleges that in the course of committing crimes, members of [the Oriental Playboys] specifically targeted and robbed Asian business owners in Virginia and Maryland, and that some robbery victims were threatened, restrained and beaten by [gang] associates,” Mr. McNulty said.

“Violent gangs are a growing problem in Northern Virginia. Stopping their mayhem is a top priority.”

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