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Sacramento man sentenced to
life for home invasions, torture

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that today United States District Judge William B. Shubb sentenced Minh Throng Huynh, 38, of Sacramento, to life in prison plus a consecutive 65-year sentence for using a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. 

He is the last defendant in the case to be sentenced after years of delays initiated by the defense.

Continued below...

According to evidence presented at the three-month trial in 2007, over the course of two months, between December 1995 and January 1996, co-defendant John That Luong, 39, was the leader and organizer of a criminal organization that planned and executed four violent armed robberies and attempted a fifth of computer chip companies and a Stockton jewelry store. Minh Huynh was a robbery crew chief.

The modus operandi for two of the charged robberies included an “action” team that conducted brutal home invasions of owners from targeted businesses in order to extract burglary alarm codes, security information, and keys to access the business. Once the information and keys were extracted, a second “transport” team would drive to the business and steal all of the business’s property. Tragically, the home invasion of Stockton jewelry store owner Vuth Hong included approximately four hours of torture inflicted on the victim and his family, during which the robbers used a blowtorch, a hot iron, firearms, and other implements in an attempt to extract information. Eventually, co-defendant Kevin Lattanaphom, 33, shot and killed Vuth Hong with a single bullet to the victim’s chest. Vuth’s brother, Srun, was shot four times by another robbery crew member, but survived. After the killing, the same robbery crew traveled to Los Angeles and attempted to conduct a similar home invasion robbery of a business owner using a same modus operandi when they were arrested by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies with the assistance of the FBI.

Luong, for his part as a leader and organizer, was sentenced to life in prison plus 80 years. Lattanaphom, who was 17 at the time he shot and killed Vuth Hong, was sentenced to life in prison plus 45 years. Co-defendant Hoang Ai Le, 40, was convicted of participating in a home invasion robbery and was sentenced to 28 years and four months.

In an earlier trial in 2003 arising from the same indictment, robbery crew members Thy Chann, 35, Bao Lu, 31, and Son Van Nguyen, 35, were convicted by jury verdicts of the same armed robberies and were all sentenced by Judge Shubb to life in prison plus an additional term for using a firearm.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Stockton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys William S. Wong and Jason Hitt prosecuted the case.

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