Federal grand jury indicts Lowell man on firearm and ammo charges

Lights of police car in night time. Night patrolling the city, crime scene. City lights at night background. Abstract blurry image.
Lights of police car in night time. Night patrolling the city, crime scene. City lights at night background. Abstract blurry image.

LOWELL — Local and federal law enforcement partners say a 35-year-old Lowell man — an alleged member of the local gang known as One Family Clique — was indicted this week in connection with firearm and ammunition charges.

Barndol Suong faces up to 10 years in prison after a federal grand jury indicted him on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Nathaniel Mendell’s office.

The charge against Suong came after law enforcement allegedly found a .45-caliber handgun and several rounds of ammunition inside Suong’s home on Corbett Street on June 10, according to a FBI affidavit filed in U.S. District Court.

The .45-caliber gun was allegedly recovered from a dresser in the 35-year-old’s bedroom. It was revealed in a detention order filed in U.S. District Court that Suong told his attorney during a hearing that he had the gun for the protection of his children and family. However, according to the FBI affidavit, Suong is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to his 2008 convictions for unlawful possession of a firearm and assault and battery with a deadly weapon following a gang-related shooting incident on Coral Street in Lowell in September 2007.

Police said at the time of Suong’s past arrest that the then 21-year-old fired several shots into a crowd, with one of the bullets passing through the window of a van and causing a piece of glass to hit the face of a bystander. According to the FBI affidavit, Suong received a sentence of two and a half to three years behind bars.

The search of Suong’s home on June 10 was part of a larger investigation into One Family Clique and the gang’s relation to drug trafficking and money-laundering activities.

According to a detention affidavit, Suong is alleged to be a ranking member of One Family Clique. The detention affidavit also states “members are responsible for narcotics trafficking and violence against rival gang members in and around Lowell since at least 2018.”

As part of the June investigation — known as Operation Street Roulette — 14 search warrants were executed in the Greater Lowell area and Somerville. A total of 15 members and those associates of the gang were charged and 14 were arrested for allegedly perpetrating large-scale and long-running drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracies.

During the investigation, agents seized or purchased about 2.32 kilograms of cocaine, 10.78 kilograms of methamphetamine, 41 grams of fentanyl, 30 grams of MDMA, 513 grams of heroin, $104,396 in cash and three firearms.

Mendell estimated the value of the seized items at about $1 million, likely just a small fraction of the narcotics trafficked over the past decade the gang has been known to law enforcement.

The investigation was the culmination of FBI, Lowell Police and other partners joining together in a task force with the goal to disrupt gang activity.

“In 2018 and 2019, at least 12 incidents of gunfire in the Lowell area are alleged to be attributable to gang-motivated hostilities between OCF and its rivals,” prosecutors said in a press release announcing the June arrests.

Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis