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Prison for pot grower

Vinh Quang Nguyen

The fragrance of fabric softener blowing out of a Frankford Avenue house in December 2012 was supposed to mask the odor of hundreds of marijuana plants growing inside.

It didn’t work, and now Fishtown’s indoor pot farmer is going to be spending the next three to seven years in state prison.

“The smell of marijuana coming from the house was so pungent that anyone walking by could smell it,” District Attorney Seth Williams’ spokeswoman Tasha Jamerson said at the time Vinh Quang Nguyen was busted.

When Nguyen’s house on the 2300 block of Frankford Avenue was raided in early December 2012, police found 343 full-grown marijuana plants and 150 plants in the incubation stage, as well as bags of harvested pot, according to the district attorney’s office. Many of the plants were more than five feet tall, authorities reported.

The dope was valued at $1.5 million to $5 million.

The defendant faced drug manufacture, possession and sales charges along with risking a catastrophe.

That final charge stemmed from the elaborate electrical wiring system hooked up to operate heat lamps used to help the plants grow that authorities said was dangerous.

When members of the district attorney’s Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency raided the home, they found two pots of boiling water and fabric softener inside that were attached to the house’s ventilation system. Nguyen’s two small children lived in the house, and their beds were 15 feet away from the pot plants.

In July, Nguyen, 43, pleaded guilty to one drug charge and the risking catastrophe charge, according to online court records.

On Jan. 9, Judge Donna Woelpper sentenced him to three to seven years imprisonment.

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