Four Northern Virginia Vietnamese men, one juvenile and a 17-year-old Chinese girl have been arrested by Boston police after a raid on their motel room in which investigators seized two shotguns.
The incident is being investigated by a new Boston police task force formed to crack down on violent street crime in that city's Chinatown area. At a meeting last week with police officials, some Chinatown business owners complained about roving bands of Vietnamese robbers, according to authorities in Boston.
Arlington Detective James Badey, who has investigated crimes in the Vietnamese community for several years and was notified by Boston authorities of the arrests, said such roving groups "are a phenomenon we've experienced first-hand." Typically, he said, several young Vietnamese will meet in one part of the country and form a loose-knit group that travels elsewhere "to raise a little bit of hell."
The six were arrested at a Susse Chalet Motor Lodge Friday after motel maids told police there were shotguns in their room, according to a spokeswoman for the Boston police department.
Jane Sheehan said police seized two 12-gauge shotguns and a 1980 Buick sedan that had been reported stolen in Pennsylvania the previous day.
Those arrested are Falls Church residents Ngoc Minh Nguyen, 19, of 2805 Hogan Ct.; Dung Minh Nguyen, 20, of 7346 Lee Hwy.; Minh Hoang Le, 18, of 3445 Rock Spring Ave.; Dong Canh Tran, 20, of 5501 Columbia Pike, and Lan Hum Suok, 17, of 6117 Munson Hill Rd.. The juvenile, a 15-year-old male, is from Arlington.
All are charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, receiving stolen property and larceny of a motor vehicle. All except the juvenile are charged with being an alien in possession of a firearm. In addition, Dung Minh Nguyen, Tran and Suok are charged with possession of stolen credit cards.
Suok has been released on $250 bail; the others are being held in lieu of $1,000 cash bail, according to court officials. Their trials are scheduled for April 10 in Dorchester District Court.
Badey said that about twice a year, there are crimes in Arlington that appear to be the work of "roving bandits." The groups, which Badey described as "opportunistic organizations," lack the well-defined leader and strict organization of traditional gangs.