A 30-year-old Silver Spring man was sentenced Monday to eight years in federal prison for participating in drug and money laundering conspiracies, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.
Chamron Thach, or “Sham,” was sentenced along with Carlos Salvador Escobar, 30, of Arlington, Va., and Billymir Mancilla-Brevichet, 28, of Oakland, Calif., for their roles in the drug and money laundering conspiracies.
Mancilla-Brevichet was sentenced Tuesday to eight-and-a-half years in prison, along with four years of supervised release. Escobar received a three-year sentence.
Thach was not the ringleader of the operation; that was Mancilla-Brevichet, according to the statement. However, he did help transport and sell vast amounts — roughly 700 kilograms, or about 1,500 pounds — of pot from California to Montgomery County, and then redistribute and sell the pot in and around Montgomery County, the statement said.
Harry D. McKnett, Thach’s defense attorney, said that his client was not violent and hadn’t used guns.
“This is the first time he’s been involved in any serious criminal charge. It’s been an eye-opening experience for him,” McKnett said, adding that Thach was deeply remorseful.
He said Thach was originally from Vietnam, where his father had spent 10 years in a prisoner-of-war camp during the Vietnam war.
Thach immigrated to the U.S. after spending seven years in a refugee camp in Thailand, he said.
“It was a tragic mistake in judgment,” he said, of Thach’s participation in the conspiracy.
According to their guilty pleas and court documents, from March 2011 to December 2012, Mancilla-Brevichet bought high-quality marijuana and then arranged for its transport by plane, car and mail to people in Montgomery County, Thach included.
The transport was usually in amounts of least 100 pounds of marijuana at a time, the statement said, which also alleged that when the marijuana was delivered to Maryland, Thach would redistribute the marijuana to co-conspirators and customers. Mancilla-Brevichet would also mail Thach at least six pounds of marijuana a week in the mail, which he redistributed to his drug customers in amounts up to a pound at a time.
Mancilla sold the pot for between $3,000 and $4,000 per pound, the statement said.
In the course of their conspiracy, the three co-conspirators sold or transported at least $1 million worth of marijuana, the statement said.
Mancilla-Brevichet, Thach and Escobar also arranged for their customers to pay them in ways that would keep them from being detected by the IRS, the statement said. Essentially, they would arrange for the drugs to be paid for in cash amounts that were below $10,000. The money would go into bank accounts that Mancilla-Brevichet controlled under fake names and in the names of fake businesses, the statement said. Those payments were below national IRS requirements, which mandate that payments or deposits over $10,000 be reported.