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Laytonville Resident Pleads Guilty to Manufacturing Marijuana and Money Laundering

SEP 29 (SAN FRANCISCO) – Matthew David Graves pleaded guilty on Sept. 26, 2014, to manufacturing and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, conspiracy to do so, and money laundering, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Jay Fitzpatrick and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez.

In open court, Graves admitted that between Nov. 6, 2008 and Nov. 8, 2012, he knowingly and intentionally conspired to manufacture and possess with the intent to distribute 100 or more marijuana plants and that he possessed more than 100 marijuana plants with intent to distribute on multiple occasions during that period. Graves also pleaded guilty to multiple counts of money laundering and admitted that he made multiple cash deposits into the bank account of his business, Matt Graves Construction, and that those deposits involved the proceeds from the manufacturing and possession of marijuana.

On Sept. 19, 2013, Graves, 56, of Laytonville, Calif., was charged by a Superseding Indictment with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana, three counts of manufacturing and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, four counts of money laundering, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Graves pleaded guilty to all counts in the superseding indictment with the exception of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Graves also consented to the forfeiture of his interest in four pieces of real property in Leggett, Calif. and a 2008 Toyota Tundra. This property was used to commit or facilitate the crimes to which Graves pleaded guilty.

The maximum statutory penalties for conspiracy to manufacture and possess with intent to distribute 100 or more marijuana plants, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, and manufacture and possession with intent to distribute 100 or more marijuana plants, in violation of U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(vii), is 40 years in prison with a mandatory minimum of five years imprisonment, a $5,000,000 fine and a lifetime supervised release with a four year minimum term of supervised release.  The maximum statutory penalty for money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i), is 20 years in prison, and a $500,000 fine or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction.  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Graves sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 17, 2014, before the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, United States District Court Judge, in San Francisco.

Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Barry is prosecuting the case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.


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