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Former Bakersfield Marijuana Store Owner Sentenced to Five Years

JUNE 05 (FRESNO, C.A.) – Raymond Arthur Gentile, 56, of Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced to five years in prison by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd for conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, manufacturing marijuana, possessing marijuana with intent to distribute, and two counts of making false statements during firearms transactions, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge John J. Martin announced.
According to evidence presented at trial in July 2016, from 2009 to 2012, Gentile was the owner and operator of ANP, a marijuana storefront, in Bakersfield. When agents executed a federal search warrant, they seized 170 marijuana plants, over 24 pounds of processed marijuana, over $68,000 in cash, and a loaded shotgun. The testimony at trial established that Gentile made $25,000 to $30,000 a month in gross proceeds. Agents found the marijuana plants growing in two separate grow rooms within the store and sales receipts indicated 40 to 50 sales to customers each day. In addition, the evidence showed that Gentile made false statements on a Firearms Transaction Record, ATF Form 4473, in order to purchase two Glock firearms. One of the firearms was seized from ANP during the investigation of this case.
Under federal law, marijuana is a controlled substance without any legitimate medical purpose. The city of Bakersfield, where Gentile’s marijuana store was located, has prohibited the operation of marijuana dispensaries within its limits. Prior to sentencing, Judge Drozd found that even under California law Gentile was not in compliance.
The case was initiated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) following a report to Bakersfield Police Department regarding an assault that allegedly occurred at Gentile’s business. In sentencing the defendant, the judge found that the defendant used threats of violence in connection with the sale of marijuana.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), California Highway Patrol and Bakersfield Police Department assisted in the DEA investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Karen A. Escobar and Melanie L. Alsworth prosecuted the case.

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