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United States v. Nguyen

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

October 5, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PLAINTIFF
v.
PHONG Q. NGUYEN DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Greg N. Stivers, Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for Return of Property (DN 168) and Defendant's Motion to Vacate Administrative Forfeiture (DN 197). The motions are ripe for decision. For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion for Return of Property is DENIED, and Defendant's Motion to Vacate Administrative Forfeiture is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

         I. STATEMENT OF FACTS

         On January 25, 2016, Defendant Phong Q. Nguyen (“Nguyen”) pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A)(viii), and 846; three counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine (aiding and abetting) in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(viii), and 18 U.S.C. § 2; one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin (aiding and abetting) in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(i), and 18 U.S.C. § 2; one count of transferring a firearm to a convicted felon (aiding and abetting) in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(d) and 924(a)(2), and 18 U.S.C. § 2; one count of felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2); one count of maintaining a premises to distribute drugs (aiding and abetting) in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 856(a)(1) and (b), and 18 U.S.C. § 2; one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana (aiding and abetting), in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(D), and 18 U.S.C. § 1; and one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C). (Plea Agreement 1-2, DN 128). Defendant was sentenced to a term of 120 months of imprisonment on 9 of the 10 counts, and a term of 60 months of incarceration on the remaining count, with the sentences to run concurrently. (J. & Commitment Order 3, DN 162).

         Following his incarceration, Nguyen filed the present motions challenging the forfeiture of certain items of personal property and the sufficiency of the notice he received of the pending forfeiture proceeding. The United States has responded to both motions, which are now ripe for adjudication.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Defendant seeks to challenge the administrative forfeiture of personal property on the basis that he did not receive notice of the forfeiture. (Def.'s Mot. Vacate Administrative Forfeiture 8-10, DN 197). He has moved also for the return of personal property pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(g).[1] (Def.'s Mot. Return Personal Property 1, DN 168). Because the motions are interrelated, they will be addressed together.

         In particular, the items of seized property in dispute are as follows:

•1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS (VIN: 136671L68290);[2]
• 2006 Porsche Cayenne S (VIN: WP1AB29P96LA67471);
• 2003 Ford F-150 Harley Davidson edition pickup truck (VIN: 1FTRW07373KB71228);
• 1992 Marader 21-foot pleasure boat (Hull ID: EFJ00386A292);[3]
• 2005 Infiniti FX35 (VIN: JNRAS08W75X216188);
• 2005 Audi A6 (VIN: WAUDG74F55N087373);
• 2007 Audi Q7 (VIN: WA1AY74L57D035432); 2005 Audi A6 (VIN: WAUDL74F75N036226);[4]
• 2002 BMW 745 (VIN: WBAGL63442DP58052);
• 2001 BMW X5 (VIN: WBAFA53591LM63229);
• All documents obtained from his residence on Arbor Oak Drive in ...

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