The Connecticut Post
Published Friday, March 1, 2013
BRIDGEPORT -- Freedom was fleeting Friday for Xang Nakhoune.
Just minutes after a state prosecutor in New Haven dropped narcotics charges against her, federal agents swooped in and arrested Nakhoune on a three-count indictment charging her with possessing and dealing crack.
Each of the charges carries a mandatory minimum five-year sentence and maximum 40-year term.
"She has a long record," Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Runowicz told U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel after the 37-year-old Shelton Street woman was brought to the federal courthouse here.
During her teenage years, Nakhoune was arrested and convicted for being part of an armed ring "that engaged in home invasion robberies targeting people in the Cambodian community," the prosecutor said.
Additionally Runowicz accused Nakhoune of threatening a male cooperator in the case and assaulting a female cooperator.
After taking Nakhoune's not guilty pleas to charges of conspiring to possess with the intent to sell crack, possessing crack and selling crack, Garfinkel detained her without bond pending a hearing Wednesday. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven.
Until Friday, Nakhoune had been living at the Miracle House on Beechwood Avenue, said Assistant U.S. Public Defender Terrance Ward. The building serves as a halfway house for released felons and offers substance abuse counseling.
Nakhoune was arrested with four others Jan. 3, 1992, following two upstate home break-ins.
The first occurred in New Britain. Police reports claim five people armed and wearing masks forced their way into the home, tied up a 12-year-old girl and her babysitter and spent two hours drinking the homeowners' beer and eating their food. Four of the suspects were from Bridgeport.
They left with electronics, jewelry and a purse. A short time later they broke into a West Hartford home, where they were arrested.
Nakhoune was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree robbery.
One of the participants in the burglary ring, Kongchan Levansithivong, also was involved in the recent crack deal, according to police reports.
Nakhoune also has convictions for third-degree criminal mischief, threatening, and third-degree assault. She received a nine-month jail sentence in 2004 on the assault charge.