News and Press Releases

Employees of Emery Seeds Reach Deal for Probationary Sentences

April 24, 2009

Two employees of Emery Seeds pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle today to Conspiracy to Manufacture Marijuana. MICHELLE RAINEY, 38, and GREGORY KEITH WILLIAMS, 54, both of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, voluntarily appeared in Seattle to resolve the charges stemming from a 2005 grand jury indictment. The lead defendant in the indictment, marijuana seed distributor Marc Emery, remains in Canada, fighting extradition to the United States on the charges. Under the terms of the plea agreements with RAINEY and WILLIAMS, both sides will recommend sentences of two years probation. Should U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez impose a sentence other than two years probation, either side can withdraw from the agreement. Sentencing is scheduled for July 17, 2009.

According to the facts recounted in her plea agreement, RAINEY worked for Emery from 1998 to 2005. Emery bills himself as the “Prince of Pot.” RAINEY assisted with Emery’s mail order marijuana seed business filling orders that came in by mail. At Emery’s instruction, RAINEY sent seeds, as well as growing instructions, out to customers -- seventy-five percent of the customers were located in the United States. Between 2003 and 2005, RAINEY earned as much as $1,000 a week mailing out the seeds and information.

According to his plea agreement, WILLIAMS handled the phone orders for the business, taking down the orders and the wire transfer information customers used for payment. WILLIAMS also worked at the seed desk, selling seeds directly to customers who came in to Emery’s store. On numerous occasions in 2004, WILLIAMS sold seeds to a Drug Enforcement Administration undercover agent. At Emery’s request WILLIAMS authored the growing instructions that were mailed out with the marijuana seeds. WILLIAMS earnings from the business increased over time and by 2005, Emery was paying him $300 per day.

In his plea agreement, WILLIAMS verifies as accurate information posted on the Emery website claiming that Emery took in more than $3,000,000 annually selling marijuana seeds. Emery claims to have sold more than 4,000,000 marijuana seeds, three-quarters of those to customers in the United States. Emery is scheduled for an extradition hearing in Canada on June 1, 2009.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, when Judge Martinez sentences RAINEY and WILLIAMS, he is free to impose any conditions of probation, fines, forfeiture or restitution he deems appropriate. Both defendants entered their pleas today before Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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