News Release
Date: February 07, 2012
Contact: DEA Public Affairs
Number: 415-436-7994

Major Marijuana Grower Sentenced To Nine Years In Prison

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Ryan Louis Ennis, 39, of Buellton (Santa Barbara County) was sentenced today by United States District Judge John A. Mendez to nine years in prison for conspiring to cultivate marijuana.

            In sentencing, Judge Mendez said that Ennis was “the leader and financial backer of a sophisticated, well-funded marijuana operation.” Judge Mendez went on to note that Ennis “had at least five cultivation sites under his control,” and at least some evidence suggested that Ennis provided marijuana for distributors on the East Coast. At time of his arrest, Ennis had an electrician and two excavators working for him, as well as an attorney on retainer, and at least five general workers. And the operation was expanding. Ennis was, the judge stated, “one of the most significant growers in this District. … It’s hard to find a bigger fish.”

            Ennis claimed that he provided medical marijuana to dispensaries and was based in El Dorado County, near Placerville. In spite of being arrested in the off season for growing marijuana, on the properties he controlled, investigators seized evidence of over 1,100 marijuana plants, around 600 pounds of processed marijuana, three handguns, two shotguns, a rifle, and more than $635,000.

This case is the product of an investigation by the DEA, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, and the Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team. Assistant United States Attorney Michael M. Beckwith prosecuted the case.