July 29, 2011
Contact: Casey Rettig
Phone Number: (415) 436-7900
Oroville Men Charged In Interstate Marijuana Cultivation And Distribution Scheme
SACRAMENTO, CA - Drug Enforcement (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that yesterday a federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Kenneth George Eaton, age 55; William Joseph Bohac, age 62; Thomas Eugene Ganey, age 51; and Jonathan Dale Ganey, age 21, all of Oroville, for conspiring to cultivate marijuana and ship it to New York. In a related case, Jimmy Earl Hatcher, age 31, of Oroville and Texas, was charged with cultivating marijuana.
According to court documents, Kenneth Eaton and his associates had been negotiating with Gjavit Thaqi, a significant drug trafficker operating in New York, to supply Thaqi with high quality marijuana from California. Thaqi and 36 others have been charged in the Eastern District of New York with trafficking cocaine, marijuana, MDMA and prescription drugs. When DEA agents executed search warrants in Oroville at addresses connected to Eaton and his associates, they seized and destroyed over 1,400 marijuana plants and various marijuana cultivation equipment. At one address where agents seized more than 400 marijuana plants, they found a Proposition 215 medical marijuana recommendation posted near the door.
This case is the product of an investigation by the DEA and the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael M. Beckwith and Jared C. Dolan are prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Eaton, Bohac, Jonathan Ganey, and Thomas Ganey face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to life in prison and a $4 million fine. Hatcher faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. The actual sentences, 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 defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.