Reno Man Pleads Guilty To Possession Of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute
SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Kevin Dennis Golden, 39, of Reno, Nevada, pleaded guilty today to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, on December 14, 2012, law enforcement agents went to the Lincoln airport as part of an investigation into a suspicious Cessna airplane that had been making frequent flights from California to the Midwest and East Coast. After the plane landed, the pilot was seen going into the pilot’s lounge. Approximately an hour later, Golden drove up to the airplane and removed three black suitcases and a backpack from his vehicle and placed them inside the airplane. Golden then drove to a nearby parking lot, parked, and walked back to the airplane. When agents approached Golden at the plane, they obtained consent from Golden to look inside the suitcases. They discovered multiple vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana. An additional bag of marijuana was found in the smaller backpack that also contained Golden’s identification. A total of 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of marijuana were taken out of the suitcases and backpack.
“The use of private planes and small private airports to distribute controlled substances is a known and continuing problem within the Eastern District of California,” U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner stated. “Persons involved in such activity should understand that they face prison, large fines, and, in appropriate cases, forfeiture of vehicles and aircraft used to engage in such activity.”
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of the Lincoln Police Department and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.Golden is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. on March 27, 2015. Golden faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined by the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.