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September 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Vo Duong Tran

Ex-Chicago FBI Agent Lead Double Life as a Gangster

Vo Duong Tran was an American success story who escaped Communist Vietnam as a kid and grew up to be an FBI agent. Problem was, he was crooked. Reporter Steve Warmbir of the Chicago Sun-Times tells the story of an FBI agent gone bad. Tran was recently sentenced to 30 years in prison for planning a home invasion of a drug stash house in California in what ended up being an FBI sting.

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By Steve Warmbir
Chicago Sun-Times

CHICAGO — Vo Duong Tran spent his 11th birthday in November 1978 on a cold, rainy Malaysian beach after he and his family made a treacherous voyage during monsoon season across the South China Sea to escape Communist Vietnam.

The old boat they rode in almost capsized a few times, then Tran and his family completed the journey by having to make a dangerous swim to shore.

After such a perilous trip, Tran’s family forgot all about his birthday, as an uncertain future in a refugee camp loomed before them.

But their luck soon turned. A Catholic church in Connecticut brought them to America, where for years Tran would make his family proud.

Once hobbled by asthma as a boy, Tran turned himself into a hulking man, bulging with muscles.

Growing up in a tough neighborhood, Tran went on to fight crime and join the FBI, where he investigated traditional and Asian organized crime in Chicago.

In his new homeland, Tran would use the first name Ben, and Ben Tran was an American success story.

At least on the surface.

To read the full story click here.

Ex-FBI Agent Gets 30 Years For Home-Invasion Plot

CALIFornia mapBy Allan Lengel

A former FBI agent was sentenced Monday in California to 30 years in prison for plotting a violent home invasion of a suspected drug stash house in Orange County in what turned out to be an FBI sting.

Vo Duong Tran, 42, of New Orleans, was convicted in March 2009 of plotting the robbery with an accomplice, Yu Sung Park. Park, 36, of Wilmette, Ill., was also sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., to 30 years in prison.

Tran worked for the FBI’s Chicago Division from 1992 to April 2003.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, Tran organized and Park schemed “to commit a violent home-invasion robbery” of a home in the middle-class community of Fountain Valley, Calif. They thought the home was a base for a drug-trafficking organization and was flush with drugs and cash, prosecutors said. But the home was actually vacant.

To read full story click here.


Ex-FBI Agent Convicted in Botched Calif. Home Invasion


Wednesday was not a banner day for the FBI. First a N.Y. FBI agent was arrested for accessing confidential information and sharing it with an informant. And then this: an ex-FBI agent convicted in a botched home invasion.

By My-Thuan Tran
Los Angeles Times

A former FBI agent who meticulously planned to rob an Orange County residence that he thought was a drug house was convicted in federal court in Santa Ana on Wednesday on charges related to the botched home-invasion robbery.

The “stash house” robbery that lured Vo Duong Tran all the way from New Orleans and for which he was equipped with bulletproof vests, assault rifles and 630 rounds of ammunition was actually nothing more than pure invention by federal agents trying to snare their ex-colleague.

Tran, 41, had conspired with a supposed accomplice to commit armed robbery in Orange County and to develop a crew of criminal associates to commit violent crimes, jurors in the federal case found. The accomplice told him about the Fountain Valley drug house, said to contain $500,000 in cash.

In reality, the accomplice turned out to be an FBI informant who was secretly recording conversations with Tran as part of the sting operation. Prosecutors played the tapes during the four-week trial.

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