News and Press Releases

Self -Proclaimed ‘Prince of Pot’ Agrees to 5 Year Prison Term

May 24, 2010

MARC EMERY, 51, of Vancouver, BC, Canada, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. Under the terms of the plea agreement, EMERY must be sentenced to five years in prison or either side can withdraw from the plea agreement. Sentencing in front of U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on August 27, 2010. Until sentencing, EMERY will remain at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac, Washington.

“Sometimes you reap what you sow. Today, Mark Emery acknowledged he broke the law. Seeds from Marc Emery’s business were found at grow sites across the United States. Mr. Emery made millions of dollars promoting and facilitating marijuana grows in the United States with no regard for the age or criminal activities of his customers,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “The Rule of Law requires accountability. A five year prison term will hold Emery accountable for his choice to ignore the law.”

EMERY was indicted in 2005, and was extradited last week from Canada. In the plea agreement, EMERY admits that he and his co-conspirators Michelle Rainey and Gregory Keith Williams operated a marijuana seed distribution business known as Marc Emery Direct. EMERY’s business sold marijuana seeds to customers throughout the United States, including within the Western District of Washington. Marijuana seeds were sold to customers in various ways, including at a retail store located in Vancouver, British Columbia, and through mail and telephone orders. Seventy-five percent of the sales were to people in the U.S. EMERY also sold grow equipment and provided advice on cultivating marijuana to customers in the U.S. On multiple occasions in 2004 and 2005, EMERY sold marijuana seeds to an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) agent at the shop and elsewhere. On his web site, EMERY claimed to have made approximately $3 million a year selling seeds, and to have sold more than 4,000,000 seeds over the years.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Judge Martinez can impose any fines, forfeitures, restitution or conditions of supervised release he believes are appropriate in the case. EMERY has waived his right to appeal if the judge imposes the five year prison term specified in the plea agreement.

Last year, Michelle Rainey, 39, and Gregory Keith Williams, 54, both employees of Emery Seeds, were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two years of probation for Conspiracy to Manufacture Marijuana.

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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