Canadian Marijuana Seed Exporter Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy
JUN 4 -- (Seattle) Mark Emery, 51, of Vancouver, BC, Canada, pleaded guilty on May 24, 2010 in U.S. District Court in Seattle to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Emery must be sentenced to five years in prison or either side can withdraw from the plea agreement. Sentencing is scheduled on August 27, 2010 at 1:30 p.m., before U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez. Until sentencing, Emery will remain at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, Washington.
Emery was indicted in 2005, and was extradited from Canada on May 20, 2010. In the plea agreement, Emery admits that he and his co-conspirators Michelle Rainy and Gregory Keith Williams operated a marijuana seed distribution business known as Marc Emery Direct. Emery’s business sold marijuana seeds to customers throughout the United States, including within the Western District of Washington. Marijuana seeds were sold to customers in various ways, including at a retail store located in Vancouver, British Columbia, and through mail and telephone orders. Seventy-five percent of the sales were to people in the U.S. Emery also sold grow equipment and provided advice on cultivating marijuana to customers in the U.S. On multiple occasions in 2004 and 2005, Emery sold marijuana seeds to an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent at the shop and elsewhere. On his website, Emery claimed to have made approximately $3 million a year selling seeds, and to have sold more than 4,000,000 seeds over the years.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Judge Martinez can impose any fines, forfeitures, restitution or conditions of supervised release he believes are appropriate in the case. Emery has waived his right to appeal if the judge imposes the five year prison term specified in the plea agreement.
Last year, Michelle Rainy, 39, and Gregory Keith Williams, 54, both employees of Emery Seeds, were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two years of probation for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).