Nick Tran verdict: Not guilty on 43 counts - - The News for South Mississippi

Nick Tran verdict: Not guilty on 43 counts

Nick Tran Nick Tran

By Steve Phillips – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi pharmacist Nick Tran was found not guilty Friday on 43 of the federal drug counts against him. But he now faces a new trial on 11 other charges the jury could not agree on, following some 18 hours of deliberations over the past three days.

Federal Judge Louis Guirola Jr. calls the decision a "partial verdict" and set a new trial date for June first on the charges still outstanding.

Tran was accused of taking part in a conspiracy to fill hundreds of illicit narcotics prescriptions.

"Very happy that the jury system has worked," said Defense Attorney David Morrison, "We've got I think 43 'not guiltys.' That leaves 11 out in the wind. I mean, when you've got 43 'not guiltys,' I think that's a clear signal to the public about what Nick Tran has faced in an uphill battle. So, we're very happy about that."

No one is happier than Nick Tran. The 42-year-old has spent the past two weeks as a defendant in a federal drug case. He told WLOX News it's something he would not wish on his "worst enemy."

"I'm feeling good, great actually," Tran said. "I just want to say a few comments. Thanks to the jury first of all. Thanks to my family, without them it wouldn't be possible. And to my attorneys, David Morrison and Wendy Tynes, and thank you to all my friends and supporters out there."

For the federal prosecutor, it's back to the drawing board to prepare for a second trial. John Meynardie is disappointed, but not dejected.

"The disappointment is that they didn't find anything on the conspiracy. There was a hang on the conspiracy," Meynardie said. "What they did was they found not guilty on the weakest counts, which were specific to specific prescriptions, specific patients on specific days. And that was the weakest part of our case, whether he knew those specific prescriptions. The strongest part was the vast numbers of people going in there, the people coming from out of state. And for whatever reason, they couldn't get 12 people to agree on that. And we still have that and we're going to try it."

As for those charges still hanging over his head, Nick Tran is confident.

"You know, we're going to work through it. I have a great attorney and great family members," he said.

"The jury has clearly said, look, we found Nick Tran not guilty of a large portion of these. And although they had some discussions, and that's the system, I think the indication is pretty clear and we do, if we wouldn't have had a good jury, I think we'd have been in trouble," said Morrison.

Nick Tran's trial on the 11 remaining counts has been set for June first.

Judge Louis Guirola Junior also set an April first sentencing date for Dr. Thomas Trieu and Dr. Victoria Van.  They're the husband-wife doctor team that operated the Family Medical Center next door to Nick Tran's pharmacy.

They are both defendants in the same federal drug case, but both pleaded guilty to lesser charges, rather than going to trial.

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