A cross-country drug deal that originated in Fresno will land a Bay Area man in federal prison for almost four years, the U.S. Justice Department announced Monday. Meanwhile, prosecution continues against two local men who are also facing charges in the case.
Tien Van Phan, 56, of Milpitas, was sentenced Monday to three years and six months in prison for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana that was shipped from Fresno to Kansas City, Missouri, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott said in a news release.
Court documents say in November 2018 Phan’s co-defendants Patrick Maldonado, of Madera and Elias Zambrano Jr., of Fresno, along with three other suspects, coordinated the shipment of nearly 500 pounds of marijuana to Kansas City. An initial shipment of 92 pounds of pot was seized during a traffic stop in in that city.
Phan pleaded guilty in November of last year.
Maldonado and Zambrano also face charges relating to cocaine trafficking and the possession of firearms. They are scheduled to appear in federal court in Fresno in April.
The case resulted from an investigation by the Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and included agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security, the FBI, Fresno, Tulare and Kings county sheriff’s offices, the Fresno Police Department, the Kansas City Police Department, and the Arizona Department of Health, the Justice Department said.