FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2006
Marijauna Shop Operator Indicted For Marijuana Trafficking And Money
$2.7 Million In Funds Over 8-Month Period
SACRAMENTO -- United
States Attorney McGregor W. Scott, Drug Enforcement Administration
Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Gordon Taylor, IRS-Criminal Investigation
Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Sadie Towler, and Placer County District
Attorney Brad Fenocchio announced today that a federal grand jury returned
a 19 count indictment with forfeiture allegations yesterday charging
RICHARD JAMES MARINO, age 52, of Fort Bragg, California, with marijuana
trafficking and money laundering offenses. The indictment relates to
the sale of marijuana from the Capitol Compassionate Care business
in the City of Roseville in 2004.
case is the result of an extensive/joint investigation by the Drug
Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. According
to court documents, the indictment alleges that from January to September
2004, MARINO and others conspired to distribute at least 100 kilograms
of marijuana, and that MARINO manufactured, distributed, and possessed
with intent to distribute marijuana. If convicted, the maximum penalty
under federal law for each offense charged is 40 years. Furthermore,
the indictment alleges that MARINO made approximately $2,750,849.40
from the sale of marijuana during an eight month period under the guise
of dispensing medicinal marijuana. With the illicit profits gained
from trafficking in marijuana, MARINO engaged in a money laundering
scheme to conduct financial transactions with the intent to promote
the carrying on of the unlawful activity according to the indictment.
If convicted, the maximum penalty under federal law for engaging in
money laundering offenses is either 10 or 20 years.
The indictment further seeks the forfeiture of $2,750,849.40, representing
the amount of proceeds obtained from the sale of marijuana. Of that figure,
$356.130.28 in funds were involved in, or traceable to, the money laundering
In addition to criminal forfeiture allegations, the United States Attorney’s
Office previously brought a parallel civil forfeiture action against property
owned by MARINO in Newcastle, California at which he had cultivated marijuana.
As a result, an amount equal to the down payment MARINO had placed on the property,
$110,000, was forfeited. Additionally, $92,000 in cash was civilly forfeited.
There is a remaining civil forfeiture action pertaining to the property in
Roseville, California at which the Capitol Compassionate Care club was operated.
“ The cultivation and sale of marijuana is, without exception, illegal
under federal law. Further, there is no question that Mr. MARINO’s activities
were equally illegal under state law,” said United States Attorney Scott. “Federal
law enforcement efforts will continue to focus on large-scale marijuana traffickers,
including those who would seek to make large sums of money hiding behind California’s
" This case is a perfect example of a person using ‘medical marijuana’ as
to hide his true agenda, which was to line his pockets with illegal drug money.
In a matter of months, he transformed his marijuana distribution center into
a multi-million dollar money laundering and drug trafficking empire. The DEA
will continue to enforce federal drug statutes and arrest those, like Richard
Marino, who believe they are above the law," DEA Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge
" IRS Criminal Investigation is proud to have contributed to this joint
investigation by using our skills in "following the money". While we
normally pursue tax violations, this case is an excellent example of how our
financial investigative skills work equally as well in pursuing money laundering
violations to assist in identifying and eradicating criminal organizations by
taking the profits out of their illicit activities," said IRS-CI Special
Agent-in-Charge Roger L. Wirth.
The charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until
and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.