Crime and Courts

Gang Members Found Guilty of Murder, Drug Charges in Northern Virginia

Prosecutors say the gang sold drugs brought to Virginia from California

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Members of a violent, drug-running gang in Northern Virginia were convicted Friday on numerous charges related to murder, kidnapping and drug trafficking.

Joseph Lamborn, 28, of California; 24-year-old Peter Le, of Dunn Loring; 28-year-old Tony Le, of California; and 26-year-old Young Yoo, of Centreville, were members of the gang Reccless Tigers, which distributed thousands of pounds of marijuana as well as other THC products, cocaine, ecstasy and prescription drugs, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Many of the gang’s customers were middle and high school students in Northern Virginia and college students at a number of Virginia universities, prosecutors said.

In early 2019, gang members grabbed Brandon White at a Fairfax County mall and took him to Richmond, where Peter Le, Lamborn and Yoo killed him, prosecutors said. The killing was retaliation for his testimony against another gang member who had beat him up, according to the attorney's office.

“My son, I am so proud of him even though he is not here with us, because my son shut down that organization,” White’s mother said.

White’s mother expressed relief at the convictions. She described feeling the presence of her son as the trial began last week. She said the courtroom door made squeaking sounds like someone was opening it and closing it.

“Nobody was coming in the door, you know; nobody was opening the door, but you could hear the door squeaking, and I said that is my son opening the door letting everybody know I’m here with y’all,” she said.

She said she thinks of her son every day and the verdict finally allows her to feel some sense of closure.

Reccless Tigers, which was affiliated with a California gang called the West Side Asian Boyz, originated in Centerville in 2011, prosecutors said. But the gang was little known in the D.C. area until more than a dozen members were indicted in 2019.

Fellow Reccless Tigers, who already pleaded guilty, previously testified the drug sales started when some of them were just 15 years old attending South County High School. They say boxes filled with marijuana were shipped to Fairfax County for distribution.

Gang members took the witness stand and described what the group called their missions carried out against those who didn’t pay drug debts or who cooperated with police. There were fire bombings, with Molotov cocktails thrown into Northern Virginia homes. There were many beatings, a stabbing, and in one case – after a customer didn’t pay up – they kidnapped his dogs, took him to the woods and killed the dogs, they said.

There was also testimony about tattoos some of the gang members got after Brandon White’s death – gravedigger tattoos and teardrop outlines on their cheeks, signifying they had killed someone.

Twenty-four people have been charged in connection with the investigation of the Reccless Tigers, and 16 pleaded guilty to federal charges and have already been sentenced.

The four members found guilty Friday were convicted of the following charges:

Peter Le:

  • conspiracy to engage in racketeering
  • narcotics trafficking and related narcotics offenses
  • kidnapping
  • murder
  • money laundering

Joseph Lamborn:

  • conspiracy to engage in racketeering
  • narcotics trafficking
  • kidnapping
  • murder

Young Yoo:

  • conspiracy to engage in racketeering
  • narcotics trafficking
  • kidnapping and murder

Tony Le:

  • conspiracy to engage in racketeering
  • narcotics trafficking

Peter Le, Yoo, and Lamborn face mandatory life sentences. Tony Le faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Their sentencing is set for Sept. 9.

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