The ringleader of a complex New Hampshire marijuana growing operation is expected to enter a guilty plea this week, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Van Thi “Michelle” Nguyen will plead guilty to charges of possession with intent to manufacture about 880 marijuana plants, as well as mortgage fraud charges as part of a deal with federal prosecutors.
Nguyen and four accomplices allegedly purchased 11 upscale homes in southern New Hampshire and used them to operative massive marijuana farms. Authorities seized more than 10,000 marijuana plants, with a street value of $24 million, in December, 2006.
The houses, each valued between $300,000 and $400,000, were bought on nearly 100% financing by Nguyen and her accomplices.
Nguyen will plead guilty to wire fraud for two of those homes, for a total of $612,500.
As part of the plea agreement, Nguyen will serve 83 months in federal prison. The original charges were punishable by up to 40 years.