PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Two people pleaded guilty Monday for their roles in a drug trafficking case out of Oregon, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon says.
As part of the investigation, which dates to 2017, federal authorities seized approximately 11,000 marijuana plants, 546 pounds of processed marijuana, more than $2.8 million in cash, 51 firearms, 26 vehicles, trailers, pieces of heavy equipment, a yacht, and three houses used as marijuana grow sites.
In court Monday, Cole Williams Griffiths, 30, of Hood River, and Raleigh Dragon Lau, 33, of Portland, pleaded guilty to conspiring to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute, and distribute marijuana, maintaining drug-involved premises, and money laundering.
The attorney’s office says the pair were part of a conspiracy to traffic marijuana grown in Oregon into Virginia, Texas and Florida. Drug proceeds in the form of U.S. bulk currency was returned to Oregon by U.S. mail and passenger luggage on planes, according to the attorney’s office.
Conspiring to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute, and distribute marijuana and maintaining drug involved premises carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $10 million fine, and a lifetime of supervised release, the attorney’s office says.
Money laundering carries a max sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ supervised release. Griffiths and Lau are due back in court for sentencing Aug. 5 and 7.
Co-defendants Brittany Lesanta Kizzee, 28, of Houston, and Paul Eugene Thomas, 38, of Portland, pleaded guilty on Nov. 27, 2018 and April 10, 2019, respectively. Thomas will be sentenced on Aug. 6 this year; Kizzee will be sentenced on Aug. 7.
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