ATF agent says he bought more than 150 grams of meth from Tony Hong before feds busted him
An undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says he paid Phuoc “Tony” Hong a visit on six different occasions, bartering cash and cigarettes to score piles of meth and cocaine from the alleged Warrensburg, Missouri, drug dealer.
Hong, along with five others, was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 11 for running a drug ring that stretched from Warrensburg to Kansas City and surrounding suburbs. Hong was arrested the next day.
The indictment was preceded by the exchange of thousands of dollars and dozens of cartons of cigarettes for illicit drugs between an undercover agent with the ATF and Hong, according to documents filed in federal court on Monday.
(Hong pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial in May. None of the allegations against him have been tested in court.)
Details in a court filing submitted by federal prosecutors on Monday reveal the extent to which undercover agents might purchase drugs from purported dealers before arresting them.
According to court records submitted by federal prosecutors, an ATF agent first visited Hong on December 16, 2013, at Hong’s house at 408 Care Center Drive in Warrensburg. It was there where the ATF agent gave Hong 30 cartons of cigarettes in exchange for 7 grams of meth. Less than a week later, the undercover investigator returned with $400 and 15 cartons of cigarettes, good for 14 grams of meth.
By February, the agent quit paying Hong in cigarettes and instead acquired 28 grams of meth for $1,200 during a meeting in Blue Springs.
A month later, the ATF agent met with Hong in a parking lot somewhere along Cherry Street in Kansas City, Missouri. It was there where he learned that Hong also dealt cocaine. The agent, according to court records, bought 29 grams of cocaine along with 27 grams of meth for $2,100.
April 23 was the last transaction between two. Hong was paid $3,700 for nearly 60 grams of meth and 42 grams of cocaine then. All told, the ATF agent acquired 153 grams of meth and 71 grams of cocaine from Hong between December and April.
Hong didn’t seem to know that he was under heavy law-enforcement surveillance. Court records indicate that on June 2, local and federal law-enforcement agents sent an unnamed informant to Hong’s house wearing a wire, which recorded the informant buying 4 grams of meth from Hong.
By June 11, the grand jury felt that it had enough evidence to go pick up Hong. The day after dropping the indictment, federal agents searched Hong’s house, where they claim they found 41 grams of meth, 85 grams of a powder used to cut down the purity of drugs, 21 guns, 3,706 rounds of ammo and a pipe bomb.
The indictment against Hong, which charges him with 11 counts of distributing meth and four counts of dealing cocaine, claims that Hong sold drugs not only from his house but also various locations in Kansas City and Independence.
John O’Connor is Hong’s attorney; he was not immediately available to comment.