FRESNO, CA — Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that a federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment today charging Mark Bagdasarian, 53, and his son Ryan Bagdasarian, 24, both of Clovis, with conspiring to cultivate and distribute marijuana and possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it. Mark Bagdasarian was also charged with cultivating marijuana.
According to court documents, between April 2010 and October 2011, the Badgasarians conspired to distribute marijuana through the Buds 4 Life marijuana stores they owned and operated. Mark Bagdasarian is also charged with growing marijuana for the stores.
According to the criminal complaint, in June 2011, the Bagdasarian’s stores were searched and law enforcement officers found 3,669 marijuana plants, 219 pounds of processed marijuana, and more than $546,000 in cash. One defendant said that the business was generating $30,000 to $50,000 per day in revenue. In August 2011, they reopened a store. A more recent search yielded another 35 pounds of processed marijuana and $40,000 in cash.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Elana S. Landau and Kevin P. Rooney are prosecuting the case.
Mark and Ryan Bagdasarian are scheduled for arraignment on Friday, October 14, 2011. If convicted, they face a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a $10 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.