A Hawaiian Gardens man who admitted participating in a drug ring that packaged narcotics in children’s toys and shipped them to buyers on the so-called darknet is expected to argue Friday that he should be allowed to remain free while awaiting sentencing.
Anh Pham, 48, pleaded guilty in March in Los Angeles federal court to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, a felony carrying a possible decades-long sentence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Last month, U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick J. Walsh granted Pham bail, but prosecutors are expected to urge the judge to reverse that decision and order the defendant detained while awaiting sentencing in October, according to court papers.
Pham was charged in January — along with Joseph Michael Gifford, 42, of La Crescenta, and Carlos Miguel Gallardo, 58, of Hawaiian Gardens — in connection with the darknet vendor Aeirla. Undercover federal agents purchased methamphetamine 26 times from the operation in 2017 and 2018, prosecutors said.
Pham sold quantities of methamphetamine on the darknet while Gifford and Gallardo packaged them in toys, a beach ball, and boxes of Christmas cards and chocolates, and shipped them to customers nationwide, including to a customer in Pittsburgh who in reality was an undercover agent, court papers show.
Gifford and Gallardo pleaded guilty to the conspiracy count and were sentenced to three years and one and a half years, respectively.
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