Employees of Self Proclaimed "Prince of Pot" Plead Guilty
APR 28-- (Seattle) – DEA Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Arnold R. Moorin and the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, Jeffrey Sullivan, announced that on April 24, 2009, Michelle Rainey and Gregory Keith Williams both pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Manufacture Marijuana. Rainey, 38, and Williams, 54, both of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, voluntarily appeared in Seattle to resolve the charges stemming from a 2005 grand jury indictment. Under the terms of the plea agreements with Rainey and Williams, both sides will recommend sentences of two years probation. Sentencing is scheduled before U.S District Court Judge Ricardo S. Martinez on July 17, 2009. The lead defendant in the indictment, marijuana seed distributor Marc Emery, remains in Canada, fighting extradition to the United States on the charges. Emery bills himself as the “Prince of Pot.”
According to facts recounted in her plea agreement, Rainey worked for Emery from 1998 to 2005. Rainey assisted with Emery’s mail order marijuana seed business filling orders that came in by mail. At Emery’s instruction, Rainey sent seeds, as well as growing instructions, out to customers of which 75% of the customers were located in the United States. Between 2003 and 2005, Rainey earned as much as $1,000 per week mailing out the seeds and information.
According to his plea agreement, Williams handled the phone orders for the business and the wire transfer information customers used for payment. Williams also worked at the seed desk, selling seeds directly to customers who came into Emery’s store. On numerous occasions in 2004, Williams sold seeds to a DEA undercover agent. At Emery’s request, Williams authored the growing instructions that were mailed out with the marijuana seeds. Williams income from the business increased over time and by 2005, Emery was paying him $300.00 per day.
Williams verified that the information posted on the Emery website claiming that Emery took in more than $3,000,000 annually selling marijuana seeds was in fact accurate. Emery claims to have sold more than 4,000,000 marijuana seeds, three-quarters of those to customers in the United States. Emery is scheduled for an extradition hearing in Canada on June 1, 2009.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement.