Dung Nguyen tried to have the American dream — and he almost made it.
First, the naturalized American (from Viet Nam) tried to make it as a manicurist, and that flopped. Then he dabbled in the tile flooring business, and that went belly-up. So he tried his hand at real estate.
He had a rather good idea. He bought nice homes (usually ina the half-a-million-dollar range, which will get you a rather nice place here in New Hampshire) in quiet, rural neighborhoods, then converted them into revenue-generating properties. It worked out remarkably well, but with only one slight hitch:
The government frowns on indoor marijuana growing.
Last week, state and federal officials conducted a series of raids across New Hampshire, seizing eleven homes of Nguyen’s and his colleagues and confiscating roughly 6,700 pot plants. The real estate probably runs between 4 and 5 million dollars, and the plants would have had a street value of $24 million.
Apparently it was all triggered on an investigation into theft of electrical services. It looks like the gang didn’t want to run up hefty electrical bills while growing the pot under sun lamps, so they tapped into power lines.
There’s an old saying that “to live outside the law, you must be honest.” Another says “pigs get fat; hogs get slaughtered.” “Penny wise and pound foolish” also springs to mind.
But the underlying principle remains the same: it’s always the little things that will get you.