Prison for pot grower

Fishtown man bus­ted with 500 pounds of pot gets up to sev­en years

Vinh Quang Nguy­en

The fra­grance of fab­ric soften­er blow­ing out of a Frank­ford Av­en­ue house in Decem­ber 2012 was sup­posed to mask the odor of hun­dreds of marijuana plants grow­ing in­side.

It didn’t work, and now Fishtown’s in­door pot farm­er is go­ing to be spend­ing the next three to sev­en years in state pris­on.

“The smell of marijuana com­ing from the house was so pun­gent that any­one walk­ing by could smell it,” Dis­trict At­tor­ney Seth Wil­li­ams’ spokes­wo­man Tasha Jamer­son said at the time Vinh Quang Nguy­en was bus­ted.

When Nguy­en’s house on the 2300 block of Frank­ford Av­en­ue was raided in early Decem­ber 2012, po­lice found 343 full-grown marijuana plants and 150 plants in the in­cub­a­tion stage, as well as bags of har­ves­ted pot, ac­cord­ing to the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice. Many of the plants were more than five feet tall, au­thor­it­ies re­por­ted.

The dope was val­ued at $1.5 mil­lion to $5 mil­lion.

The de­fend­ant faced drug man­u­fac­ture, pos­ses­sion and sales charges along with risk­ing a cata­strophe.

That fi­nal charge stemmed from the elab­or­ate elec­tric­al wir­ing sys­tem hooked up to op­er­ate heat lamps used to help the plants grow that au­thor­it­ies said was dan­ger­ous.

When mem­bers of the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s Dan­ger­ous Drug Of­fend­ers Unit and the U.S. Drug En­force­ment Agency raided the home, they found two pots of boil­ing wa­ter and fab­ric soften­er in­side that were at­tached to the house’s vent­il­a­tion sys­tem. Nguy­en’s two small chil­dren lived in the house, and their beds were 15 feet away from the pot plants.

In Ju­ly, Nguy­en, 43, pleaded guilty to one drug charge and the risk­ing cata­strophe charge, ac­cord­ing to on­line court re­cords.

On Jan. 9, Judge Donna Woelp­per sen­tenced him to three to sev­en years im­pris­on­ment.

You can reach at

comments powered by Disqus