A man implicated in what Tulsa police say might have been the biggest pot bust in the history of the department pleaded guilty Thursday to drug conspiracy and money-laundering charges in Tulsa federal court.
Kong Meng Vang, 34, entered the plea as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors that includes the forfeiture of a business property, several residential properties, 21 vehicles and several weapons.
Vang, who also went by the first name Steve, faces a statutory maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison.
During his plea hearing, Vang admitted to bringing 1,500 pounds of marijuana from California to sell in the Tulsa area.
“From April 2015 to April of this year, me and a group of individuals went out to California, located, purchased and had marijuana transported to the Northern District of Tulsa,” Vang said, reading from a statement.
Vang was arrested March 24 in the 6300 block of North Garrison Avenue when law enforcement officials served a search warrant at a home there. A search by authorities of a rental truck at the residence yielded about 1,500 pounds of hydroponically grown marijuana with a street value of $5 million.
A grand jury indicted Vang on charges of drug conspiracy and possessing at least 100 kilograms of marijuana with an intent to distribute. Prosecutors later added the money-laundering charge.
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said at the time that it was the largest marijuana bust he had seen during his tenure with the Tulsa Police Department, which dates back to 1969.
As part of his plea on the money-laundering charge, Vang admitted to using nearly $87,000 in drug proceeds to buy an east Tulsa house.
Vang agreed to forfeit his automobile business, Vang’s Dyno Performance at 9901 E. 46th Place, as well as seven residential properties in Tulsa and 21 vehicles.
Vang, who has been free on bond, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 4.
In addition to Tulsa police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Criminal Investigations Division of the Internal Revenue Service participated in the criminal investigation.