The Washington Post

6 on trial in alleged robbery scheme

Six men who allegedly agreed to participate in a made-up scheme to rob a drug stash house face a jury trial this week in an Alexandria courtroom.

A grand jury handed down an indictment on the six men in October, alleging that the men planned tofirearms to rob a drug trafficker in a scheme scheme presented to them by undercover federal law enforcement agents to use

According to court testimony from an agent with the Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF) agency who was involved in a four-month long operation, said the leader of the six men – Senh Phun – initially traded untaxed cigarettes in exchange for cash and marijuana with undercover ATF agents.

Agents meet Phun for months at various locations, including the Sweetwater Tavern Restaurant in Falls Church, a strip club in Springfield, and other locations in Philadelphia and Las Vegas, to discuss deals. Some of the conversations were recorded and played for the jury.

When undercover agents with the ATF’s Northern Virginia Violent Crime Task Force presented Phun with a chance to rob a fake drug stash house in Fairfax County where there was 10 kilograms of stolen cocaine, Phun expressed interest, prosecutors alleged in court documents. Phun told undercover agents that he had “access to ballistic vests and FBI raid jackets and hats,” according to court papers.

Phun also said that he had three separate “crews” that could commit the robbery, according to an ATF affidavit. His crew included individuals from Philadelphia and Falls Church.

On Oct. 28, federal agents arrested some of those alleged to be involved when they showed up at a storage unit in Fairfax with firearms, ready to carry out the scenario.

Defense lawyers for the six defendants argued in their opening statements that the men were only interested in getting untaxed cigarettes, not robbery.

Phun is one of six defendants in the case. The other defendants include Khem Un, Saraeun Min, Jan Stevens, Marc Eric Johnson and James Dwayne McCalister.

They face three counts of conspiracy to affect commerce by robbery, possession of firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence, and conspiracy to posses with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.
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