Reno Businessman/Radio Talk Show Host Indicted on Federal Marijuana Distribution and Money Laundering Charge
Reno, Nev. - A Reno businessman and AM radio talk show host was indicted today by a Federal Grand Jury on charges that he conspired with at least four others, including his son, to grow and distribute marijuana in the United States and launder the proceeds through his businesses and other means, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
WALTER EDWARD FLOYD, aka Eddie Floyd, age 58, of Reno, Nevada, owner of several Reno-area companies, including U.S. Realty, Nevada Matters, and CADCO, Inc., and host of "Nevada and America Matters" on KBDB-AM, is charged with two counts of Conspiracy to Manufacture and to Distribute Marijuana, one count of Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments, and 18 counts of Laundering of Monetary Instruments. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine on each of the marijuana conspiracy charges, and up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine on each of the money laundering charges.
The indictment alleges that beginning in about April 2002 and continuing until about January 2004, WALTER EDWARD FLOYD, his son Joshua Floyd, Daren Mabunda, Darrell Long, Guinnaverre Maher, and others, conspired to manufacture and distribute marijuana. In April 2002, WALTER FLOYD and Joshua Floyd provided Daren Mabunda with approximately 263 acres of property in Doyle, California, for the purpose of growing marijuana. This property is also known as the "Doyle ski lodge property." They disguised ownership in the property by creating a lease agreement in the name of a fictitious individual named "Earnest Green," but Mabunda made monthly lease payments of $2,500 to WALTER FLOYD or Joshua Floyd, and used the property to grow marijuana.
The Indictment alleges that WALTER FLOYD and Joshua Floyd also provided a mobile home in Cold Springs, Nevada, two mobile homes in Reno, Nevada, and one mobile home and several 40-foot trailers at WALTER FLOYD's Wynema ranch property at 214 Highway 395 in Hallelujah, California, to Daren Mabunda for the purpose of processing the marijuana he grew at the ski lodge property. In November 2002, law enforcement officers seized 160 marijuana plants from the mobile home on Highway 40.
The Indictment charges that from about July 2003 until July 2004, WALTER FLOYD and the co-conspirators transported and distributed the marijuana grown by Mabunda and the co-conspirators from Nevada to Kentucky. From approximately July 2003 to October 2003, WALTER FLOYD and Josh Floyd arranged for the use of rental cars and drivers to transport loads of approximately 100 to 200 pounds of marijuana from Nevada to Kentucky on a monthly basis. In October 2003, they purchased a van in order to transport larger quantities of marijuana from Nevada to Kentucky. They allegedly purchased the van with funds from WALTER FLOYD's company, U.S. Realty, and disguised the van with the logo, "Tubby's Seafood," which was a business owned by Josh Floyd. They arranged for drivers to transport 300 to 500 pounds of marijuana at a time. The drug proceeds were driven back to Reno in a safe in the van and delivered to Daren Mabunda and Josh Floyd, who would then meet with WALTER FLOYD on a weekly basis to discuss the tens of thousands of dollars in profits made from their agreement to transport marijuana from Nevada to Kentucky.
The indictment alleges that in February or March 2004, one of the drivers stole approximately $1 million of the marijuana proceeds and abandoned the van in New Mexico. It also alleges that in July 2004, one of the drivers was arrested for driving more than 600 pounds of marijuana from Nevada to Kentucky.
WALTER FLOYD, Daren Mabunda, and others also allegedly conspired to launder the monies from the unlawful marijuana business through the following means:
WALTER FLOYD deposited approximately $37,500 in cash lease payments from Mabunda into U.S. Realty's bank accounts;
WALTER FLOYD exchanged $247,500 of cash from Mabunda for 900,000 shares of stock in Nevada Matters, owned by WALTER FLOYD;
WALTER FLOYD purchased real property at 14005 Saddlebow Road in Reno through another of his companies, Combined Associates Development Co., Inc.
WALTER FLOYD gave Mabunda $450,000 of Nevada Matters stock in exchange for $693,000 he owed Mabunda after the driver stole the $1 million in 2004.
In January 2004, WALTER FLOYD accepted a 2002 Cadillac Escalade, a 1996 Toyota truck, a 1998 Chevrolet Van, a water trailer, a generator, and ATV from Mabunda as financial settlement for the marijuana growing operation.
WALTER FLOYD was arrested by DEA Agents this afternoon. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Reno on February 2, 2006.
The case is being investigated by Special Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and IRS Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Craig S. Denney.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.