LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A hearing is set for Monday in a case Clarksville Police are calling the largest drug bust in the county’s history.
WHAS11 News on Thursday reported in what police called a major drug bust they say was trafficking marijuana from the west coast.
Now, the attorney for some of those involved in the case are calling foul, saying his clients live an honest life and can vouch for everything the government seized.
Attorney Larry Wilder said there are major discrepancies in the investigation.
“We will ask for the evidence that we have not seen that seems to be something that the police banter about that exists that we haven't seen,” he said.
Wilder represents Tracy Ngo and her husband Daren. They own Divas Nail Salon in Floyds Knobs, Indiana. Tracy, Wilder says hasn't been charged, but Daren is charged with felony dealing marijuana over ten pounds and felony corrupt business actions.
“She's accused of being a member of a drug trafficking organization, that's engaged in all of this illegal nefarious conduct to the tune of five and a half million dollars of which nobody has seen and all of this marijuana which what they found was in Louisville Kentucky, in houses that have nothing to do with them or their names,” Wilder explained.
In a 7 month multi-agency investigation, Clarksville police say the alleged organization is responsible for bringing in more than 2,600 pounds of marijuana to Kentuckiana during the last 18 months, much from the west coast. They recently searched 7 different homes in the region and confiscated more than a million dollars’ worth of cash and assets.
“A lot of these do not have citizenship. Some of them do. They're here on a work visa, and that's also going to be looked at in reference to maybe that the trafficking might be coming from outside this country,” Col. Mark Palmer, Chief of the Clarksville Police Department said.
Wilder states, “I think it’s easy to pick on people who don't speak the language very well and it’s a damn shame they get picked on and it’s a bigger shame for the people that pick on them that they have enough money to hire people like me that do understand the language.”
Wilder says the search warrants were executed at his client's home back in December, calling this an issue of asset forfeiture. Wilder tells us, the items seized last year are all personal belongings like money, jewelry, cars and his clients can prove they own and paid for everything legally.
“They found no drugs, they found no drug paraphernalia, they found no guns, they found cash and it's not illegal in the United States – thank God it's not illegal in the United States of America to have cash,” Wilder said.
Col. Palmer says regarding the bust, “Definitely been a great find for Clarksville to bring this all to an end.”
Wilder says his clients are products of the American dream, moving from Vietnam, opening businesses, building credit and saving. He showed WHAS11 documents he says provide a clear paper trail of an honest living for the Ngo's.
Police arrested for people in our area and issued four warrants for people in California.
Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull tells us in a statement:
“The Clark County prosecutor's Office will seek the stiffest possible sentence for all person convicted of drug dealing as a result of this investigation.” The hearing is taking place in the Clark County Courthouse Monday afternoon at 1 p.m.
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