Posted: Jul 15, 2014 10:51 PM by Ryan Naquin
Updated: Jul 16, 2014 6:28 AM
BATON ROUGE - A businessman faces federal charges related to an investigation surrounding smuggled Chinese chemicals that made it into United States.
Tim Tran was booked into jail in West Baton Rouge Tuesday after federal agents raided his warehouse and home, both in Baton Rouge. Tran owns Tim's Warehouse on Florida Blvd. and a mansion in the Centurion neighborhood off O'neal Lane.
The United States District Attorney in Oklahoma, Danny C. Williams, accused Tran and eight others of using "deceit and dishonest means to smuggle chemicals". Agents say the group ordered chemicals and made fake invoices to get those chemicals into the country. The group, which includes another person from Baton Rouge, a person from New Orleans and six others from Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nevada, and California, are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, money laundering and smuggling chemicals. The investigation started in April 2011.
Agents with the Department of Homeland Security said the chemicals are used to make synthetic marijuana.
At the warehouse, investigators seized bags of money, computers and boxes of evidences. At the lavish home, investigators were seen driving off in a red Ferrari. At both locations, safes were sawed open.
Also in 2011, Tran was charged with distribution of synthetic marijuana. He pled guilty to possession of synthetic marijuana and received probation.
Tran's attorney said his client was on the up-and-up in Louisiana.
"Many grocery stores and convenience stores rely on Tim for all their products in their stores," Lance Ungelsby told WBRZ News 2. "Tim Tran is a legitimate business man."
Ariel Dunn was the other person arrested in Baton Rouge.