PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Hai Nguyen, 37, of New Castle, Delaware, was sentenced to ten months in prison and three years of supervised release by United States District Court Judge J. Curtis Joyner for lying to the FBI during the course of a double homicide investigation.
On the night of August 26, 2014, Tam Le and four associates kidnapped three Philadelphia drug dealers who had failed to pay a substantial drug debt. Le was a member of a gang called “BTK” or “Born to Kill.” Le and his associates transported the three victims to the Schuylkill River, bound them with duct tape, weighed down their bodies, stabbed them, and dumped all three victims into the river. Two victims died in the river while the third somehow managed to crawl out of the river and flag down a passing motorist on Kelly Drive for assistance.
Hai Nguyen was a close friend of Tam Le. Immediately following the murders, Nguyen traveled from Delaware to Le’s house in Philadelphia. Le knew that the Philadelphia Police would be looking to arrest him for the murders, so he asked Nguyen to drive him and his family to New York State. The U.S. Marshals Service eventually hunted down Le and placed him under arrest. He was charged with the murders and convicted at trial. A Philadelphia County jury sentenced him to death.
At the same time, the FBI began investigating the crime in order to bring the other perpetrators, some of whom lived in New York, to justice. On three occasions, the FBI interviewed Hai Nguyen about traveling to Tam Le’s house following the murders. During those interviews, Nguyen repeatedly lied to the FBI and stated that he did not travel to Le’s house that night. The FBI subsequently obtained cell site data from Hai Nguyen’s phone and proved his lies.
“Lying to the FBI or to any federal investigating agency is always a serious offense, one which we will prosecute vigorously,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “But lying in the course of a federal double homicide investigation is a sure way to land in prison. This type of criminal dishonesty is reprehensible and will never be tolerated.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Philadelphia Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Livermore.