ARIZONA MAN SENTENCED FOR MARIJUANA DISTRIBUTION CONSPIRACY
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on March 25, 2011, Thomas Sellers, 39, of Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison for his participation in a marijuana distribution ring. In addition, Sellers was sentenced to a term of 5 years supervised release, a fine of $1000 and a special assessment of $100.
Sellers pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana on November 5, 2010. Sellers is one of 15 defendants convicted in the scheme. According to evidence presented at Sellers’ change of plea hearing, Sellers shipped large quantities of marijuana from Tucson, Arizona and Lima, Ohio, to East St. Louis, Ill.-, and elsewhere between 2000 and 2007. Much of the marijuana shipped consisted of 200 to 300 pound loads concealed inside bathtubs and hot water heaters. Cash was often shipped back to Tucson in the same manner.
The investigation was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), with the Drug Enforcement Administration as the lead agency. The OCDETF initiative is designed to bring federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and resources together to identify, target and dismantle large national and international drug trafficking organizations. Evidence in the investigation was gathered by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert L. Garrison.