MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Kong Vang, 31, La Crosse, Wisconsin, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 144 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. This prison term will be followed by 4 years of supervised release. Vang pleaded guilty to these charges on February 5, 2021.
On July 15, 2020, law enforcement officers were investigating an anonymous complaint that Vang and his girlfriend, Pader Yang, were selling large quantities of methamphetamine out of their residence in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Officers conducted surveillance on the residence and observed people arriving, going in and out of the garage, and then immediately returning to their cars or bicycles.
Based on these observations, and the fact that Vang was on state supervision for prior convictions involving methamphetamine trafficking, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and 2nd degree recklessly endangering safety, law enforcement officers searched Vang’s residence. During the search of a bedroom shared by Vang and Yang, officers located a safe containing four loaded handguns, eight bags of methamphetamine, and just under $12,000. Officers found a fifth loaded firearm elsewhere in the bedroom, and additional drugs, paraphernalia, and ammunition throughout the residence, the garage, and in a vehicle recently driven by Yang. In total, officers found approximately 254 grams of “ice” methamphetamine, and over 250 grams of marijuana.
In an interview with law enforcement, Vang admitted to using and selling methamphetamine. He admitted to being a convicted felon and knew that he was not allowed to possess firearms. Law enforcement officers later searched Vang and Yang’s cell phones and located many conversations relating to sale of methamphetamine and marijuana. Based on the evidence in the case, officers believed Vang was a pound to kilo level methamphetamine dealer.
Vang’s state supervision was revoked and Judge Conley ordered this federal sentence to run concurrently with the state prison sentences Vang is now serving following revocation. In imposing the sentence, Judge Conley referenced Vang’s prior criminal record which included convictions of violence, drug trafficking, and gun possession.
Pader Yang pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine on February 18, 2021. She is scheduled for sentencing before Judge Conley on May 11, 2021.
The charges against Vang and Yang were the result of an investigation conducted by the La Crosse Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven P. Anderson.