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News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

October 7, 2010

Providence man sentenced for marijuana grow, heroin trafficking

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A federal judge today sentenced Mark McNaught, of Providence, to five years in federal prison for manufacturing more than 100 marijuana plants in his Providence apartment, and for possessing heroin with the intent to distribute.

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced the sentence, which Chief U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi imposed in U.S. District Court, Providence.

In June, a federal jury convicted McNaught of the two offenses.  During the trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah presented evidence that Providence Police saw McNaught enter a vehicle on July 31, 2009, hand an item to the vehicle’s driver, and then exit the vehicle a few blocks away. Police stopped the vehicle and found the driver to be in possession of heroin.

Police questioned McNaught and he admitted that he had provided heroin to the driver, and said he had more in his apartment. He also told police he had some marijuana plants in his apartment. A search of McNaught’s apartment on Carpenter Street turned up additional heroin and approximately 125 marijuana plants in various stages of growth. The jury saw photographs of marijuana plants in two rooms of McNaught’s apartment.

Testifying in his own defense, McNaught claimed that he had fewer than 100 plants under cultivation, which, if he had persuaded the jury, would have exposed him to a lesser sentence.

Judge Lisi sentenced McNaught to five years in prison for the 125 marijuana plants and 33 months for the heroin offense, with both sentences to run concurrently.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert assisted in the prosecution of the case.  Providence Police conducted the investigation.


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