Man asks to call parents, see sister before being sentenced

By Janice Gregorson

Loc Dinh Phan knows he may well end up in prison.

But his concern Thursday was with family. He wanted to call his aging parents in Vietnam, and he wanted to see a sister hospitalized in St. Paul.

Phan, 38, pleaded guilty to two felony charges — receiving stolen property and possession of a pistol or assault weapon. One felony count was dismissed.


Phan was arrested in the parking lot at Wal-Mart North in August 2007. Members of the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics Task Force were watching someone they said was concealing something under the hood of a car and was "very nervous," according to the complaint.

Phan admitted he had hidden a gun in the air cleaner and that he was driving a car he knew had been stolen in St. Paul.

Prosecutor Kathy Wallace said Phan was sentenced in Goodhue County last year on similar charges and given a stayed five-year prison term and probation. She said Goodhue County has filed a probation violation report and wants Phan back.

Phan represented himself at Thursday’s plea hearing and had two requests: To be released from jail until he is sentenced so he can see his sister and call his parents. Wallace told Judge Kevin Lund that Phan had purchased a phone card, but it won’t work for international calls from the jail. She said she is working with the jail to figure out how to make the call.

Lund ordered the jail and county attorney’s office to continue to try to make it possible for Phan to call his parents. But he didn’t allow Phan to be released from jail to see his sister. Goodhue County authorities would pick him up immediately anyway, Lund said.

Phan is to stay in the Olmsted County jail until sentencing on June 12.

Although Phan lists a St. Paul address, he has been in Rochester before. In 1991, he was sentenced to 81 months, or nearly seven years, in prison for being one of five men involved in a violent robbery at Truong Plaza 18 months earlier.

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