A 34-year-old Wall Township man was among five members of a violent gang sentenced in federal court Tuesday for their roles in a spree of home invasion robberies through three states, authorities said.
Thach Van Nguyen, 34, was sentenced in a Philadelphia federal court along with four other members of a gang that assaulted victims in their homes in robberies in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland between Oct. 2009 and April 2010, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Eastern Pennsylvania.
Three other gang members await sentencing and one was sentenced in April, the release says. .
Van Nguyen pleaded guilty to robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and related firearms charges. He was sentenced to 80 months in prison and ordered to pay $112,000 in restitution.
Van Nguyen, and two other gang members on January 26, 2010, robbed the home of a business owner in Freehold, the release says. The trio knocked on the front door, spoke with the owner, pulled out a gun, forced their way in, and tied up the victim, threatening to shoot her if she did not cooperate, the release says.
Van Nguyen acted as a lookout as the two others forced the owner to open her safe and collected her valuables. They even tried to steal the victim’s wedding ring using soap in a failed attempt to get it off her finger. They escaped with cash, two luxury watches, a cell phone, and a designer purse, the release says.
Van Nguyen also acted as a lookout for another robbery on Feb. 24, 2010. Four gang members robbed the home of a business owner in Monroe Township. The owner’s young daughter, nephew and babysitter were home at the time. Gang members knocked on the front door, lured the babysitter outside, hit her on the head and tied her up. The gang stole several thousand dollars and jewelry, the release says.
Other robberies were similar. In each, the victims were tied up and threatened, the release says.