A Washington man pleaded guilty to a murder-for-hire plot - that targeted seven victims - after cops in the U.S. and Vietnam teamed up to carry out a sting.
Long Van Nguyen entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Thursday. He admitted to charges of conspiracy to kill persons in a foreign country and solicitation to commit a crime of violence.
Nguyen's plot began in March 2012 when he complained to a confidential source that he sent his nephew in Vietnam $100,000 with instructions that he could spend only the interest on the money, according to court documents. Instead, the nephew spent nearly all of the money.
A few months later, an undercover agent working for Homeland Security Investigations came into contact with Nguyen and told him he "had associates in Vietnam" who could carry out the executions.
The U.S. government coordinated with the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Safety, who sent an undercover officer to pose as the hit man during a meeting with Nguyen's nephew, a man identified in court documents as "Bon."
"Bon pointed out the targets of defendant's intended assassinations, and where the assassinations should take place," court documents said. "One target worked at a noodle shop. The other target, a woman, lived in a residence with other family members."
When Nguyen was shown surveillance photos of the intended targets by an undercover FBI agent, he paid a small amount of money and asked that his nephew, Bon, also be killed since he had already "served his purpose by pointing out the targets," according to court documents.
Nguyen also sent the undercover agent photos of four more men he wanted killed, bringing the total number of hits to seven people.
Nguyen was arrested on July 7, 2012. As part of the plea agreement, the government has agreed to recommend a sentence "no greater than 14 years."
At the time of his arrest, Nguyen was on supervised release after serving time for marijuana conspiracy and federal money laundering charges.