News and Press Releases


July 29, 2005

MARC EMERY, 47, of Vancouver, B.C. was arrested by the RCMP and Halifax Police Department today on a warrant from the Western District of Washington. EMERY was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Seattle on May 26, 2005, after an 18 month investigation into the millions of dollars worth of marijuana seeds EMERY sold in person, over the internet and by mail. EMERY and co-defendants GREGORY KEITH WILLIAMS, 50, of Vancouver, B.C. and MICHELLE RAINEY-FENKAREK, 34, of Vancouver, B.C. are charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana, Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana Seeds, and Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering. The charges carry penalties of 10 years to life in prison.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington has filed an extradition request with Canada asking that all three defendants be brought to Seattle to stand trial. MARC EMERY has operated Marc Emery Direct since 1994, taking orders for marijuana seeds over the internet. According to his web site, EMERY has made more than $3 million annually, selling marijuana seeds. EMERY claims to stock the largest supply of marijuana seeds in the world and is considered the largest distributor of marijuana seeds. According to court filings, Emery seeds are associated with multiple illegal grow operations across the U.S. The Drug Enforcement Administration has traced Emery seeds to illegal grows in Indiana, Florida, California, Tennessee, Montana, Virginia, Michigan, New Jersey and North Dakota. An estimated 75% of the seeds EMERY sells are transported to the United States.

In addition to selling marijuana seeds, Marc Emery Direct provides customers with detailed written instruction on how to grow the seeds into marijuana plants. EMERY's business also sells equipment used to grow the seeds into marijuana, including specialized lights, fans and fertilizer.

EMERY has served time in Canada for illegally selling marijuana seeds. United States authorities want to stop the flow of seeds to grow operations.

"We are not going to turn a blind eye to Marc Emery's illegal multi-million dollar sales of marijuana seeds," said U.S. Attorney John McKay. "The grows that sprout from those seeds are often protected by armed criminals or rigged with lethal booby-traps. They do significant environmental damage, and fuel the organized crime and drug trade that destroys lives."

"The tentacles of the Mark Emery criminal enterprise reached out across North America to include all 50 United States and Canada," said Special Agent in Charge Rodney G. Benson of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). "Mr. Emery utilized the internet to sell his marijuana seeds throughout this country to customers no matter their age. He directed his business with efficiency, was motivated by greed, and will now be prosecuted for this illegal activity."

EMERY is a well known figure in Canada as publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine, and as a leader of the BC Marijuana Party. The charges filed today are not related to those activities but are the result of an extensive undercover investigation. EMERY sold large amounts of seeds both by mail and in person to undercover DEA agents.

An indictment contains allegations that have not yet been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), United States Postal Inspection Service and the Vancouver Police Department (VPD). Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg is prosecuting the case.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington at (206) 553-4110.

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