FEDERAL AGENTS are amping up their search for a bloodthirsty gangster allegedly behind a grisly double-homicide in Southwest Philly.
Tam Minh Le, 43, has been placed on the U.S. Marshals' list of most wanted fugitives, according to a statement released yesterday.
Le is accused of torturing and killing brothers Viet Huynh and Vu Huynh on Aug. 27, and dumping their mutilated corpses into the Schuylkill. A third man, Thanh Voong, also was attacked and dumped, but he survived the ordeal and contacted police.
Le, a member of the Vietnamese gang Born to Kill, allegedly gave the Huynhs $100,000 to buy drugs in Atlantic City. Instead, the two gambled a chunk of the money away, officials said.
When the brothers revealed that only $40,000 was left, Le allegedly kidnapped and tortured them at his home on 72nd Street near Grays Avenue in Eastwick, police told the Daily News.
Le and his gang affiliates then allegedly lured Voong to the home, under the guise of delivering the money in exchange for the Huynhs' freedom.
Instead, all three men were stabbed several times, bound with duct tape and thrown into the icy waters of the Schuylkill. The Huynhs' throats were slit and their corpses weighted down with buckets of tar, police said at the time.
Voong's throat was not cut, nor his body weighted, and he was able to swim to the riverbank near Kelly Drive.
Weeks after Voong escaped, police issued a warrant for Le on charges including murder, attempted murder, false imprisonment and abuse of a corpse.
Le was previously convicted of murder in New York state in 1994, officials said. He served a 12-year prison sentence in that case.
The U.S. Marshals are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to Le's arrest. Tipsters can call 1-800-336-0102.