Back in 2008, a massive DEA sweep through suburban Philadelphia took down a multimillion dollar cannabis cultivation ring, resulting in the arrest and indictment of twelve Vietnamese Americans who stood accused of conspiring to grow thousands of highly illegal pot plants across several grow sites in Berks County, Pennsylvania.
Among those rounded up in the raids was then 40-year old Dung Bui, also known as “Danny Bui”. Facing compounded consequences due to the fact that his grow site was within spitting distance of a school-owned park, Bui pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to manufacture more than 1,000 marijuana plants and manufacturing and distributing marijuana within 1,000 feet of an athletic field owned by the school district.
Now, six years later, the 3rd Circuit Court has tossed the 2008 ruling out the window, vacating Bui’s guilty plea based on his appeal that he was given bad advice by his attorney.
It certainly did not look good for Danny Bui after the feds kicked down his door and discovered the elaborate hydroponic grow system inside his otherwise non-descript suburban residential home.
Bui personally owned one of the homes being used in the grow op, and admitted to investigators that he had purchased the home within the past year with the intent to convert it into a pot-growing warehouse.
The indictment clearly reads that those accused could be sentenced to life, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, in federal prison if found guilty of the charges set against them.
However, Bui’s lawyer strongly, and erroneously, advised him to plead guilty to the charges in order to gain a reduced sentence from U.S. District Judge Legrome Davis.
Instead of correcting the dipshit defense attorney, Judge Davis decided to play along, leading Bui to believe that some sort of leniency may be granted to him if he would only plead guilty.
“The sentencing guidelines permit me to depart upwards or downwards under some circumstances,” bullshitted Judge Davis.
Not only did the mandatory minimum sentencing laws dictate that Judge Davis slap Bui with the prescribed 10-year prison sentence, he tacked on an additional 10 years of “supervised release” after Bui’s proposed release date.
Shellshocked, Bui appealed, and now over a half a decade later, he had another day in court.
After the 3-judge panel of the 3rd Circuit Court had concluded its review of Bui’s botched case from 2008, Judge Joseph Greenway summed up he and his colleagues’ conclusions by stating, “The record clearly indicates Bui’s counsel provided him with incorrect advice regarding the availability of a sentencing reduction.”
He continued, “Counsel’s lack of familiarity with an eighteen-year-old precedent, and his erroneous advice based on that lack of familiarity, demonstrate counsel’s performance fell below prevailing professional norms.”
In other words, the slimeball lawyer lied his ass off, the scumbag judge let it slide, and the accused was left standing guilty, before having ample opportunity to prove himself otherwise.
Fortunately, the 3rd Circuit Court saw through the injustice and vacated Bui’s bullied guilty plea, sending the case back to the District Court where Bui hopes to find some relief to replace his regrets.