Federal prosecutors in New York have charged an attorney who worked for the Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Professional Responsibility in Washington, D.C., with distributing methamphetamine.

Jack Vitayanon, 41, was arrested Wednesday in Washington and charged with conspiring with others to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. He allegedly conspired with people in Arizona and Long Island from September 2014 to January 2017 to distribute the highly addictive drug. They recently negotiated and sold quantities of methamphetamine to undercover special agents on Long Island.

Investigators recorded internet-based video chats and text messages capturing the negotiations. Vitayanon allegedly shipped the methamphetamine from his apartment in Washington to Long Island through Federal Express.

IRS building (Bloomberg News)
IRS building (Bloomberg News)

In a series of text messages with the intended recipient, according to the prosecution complaint in the case, Vitayanon indicated he was home by texting, “Home now,” and packaging methamphetamine for distribution by texting, “Im preparing stuff.” He also said he was sending an ounce (“zip”) of methamphetamine to the recipient, provided a FedEx tracking number for the shipment being sent to the recipient’s home in Oceanside, N.Y., and asked for the $1,650 payment for the methamphetamine be deposited into his personal bank accounts. He provided the routing and account numbers for the accounts in his name.

The FedEx package’s recipient, who was working with law enforcement, recorded a video chat with Vitayanon over the internet last December. During the recorded conversation Vitayanon was seen in his residence smoking what appeared to be methamphetamine from a glass pipe, according to the complaint.

After getting a search warrant, authorities searched his D.C. apartment and seized methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, packaging materials and drug ledgers. Authorities compared the activity to the cable TV series, “Breaking Bad,” about a fictitious meth ring.

“As alleged, the defendant—a federal attorney working for the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility—broke bad and supplemented his income by selling distribution quantities of methamphetamine,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Capers in a statement. “The defendant will now be held to account for his alleged criminal conduct.”

It was not clear which attorney is representing Vitayanon. A LinkedIn message sent to him was not immediately answered.

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.