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Press Release

Lawrence Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Marijuana Trafficking Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Kansas

TOPEKA, KAN. – A Lawrence man pleaded guilty Friday to a federal marijuana trafficking charge, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Michael D. Landsness, 27, Lawrence, Kan., pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. In court papers, Landsness admitted he was one of the distributors for a marijuana trafficking organization in Lawrence. The organization was the target of a federal investigation that began in November 2012. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized about 44 pounds of marijuana and more than $193,000 in cash from the traffickers.

On April 3, 2013, investigators working undercover arranged to buy a pound of marijuana from Landsness for $3,000. The next day, officers stopped Landsness and found half a pound of marijuana in his car.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 12. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.

Charged as co-conspirators are:

Benjamin Johnson, 33, Lawrence, who is set for trial Sept. 9.
Dominick A. Howard, 20, Lawrence, Kan., who is awaiting trial.
Senator J. Christopher Hood, 26, Lawrence, who is set for jury trial Aug. 19.

 Grissom commended the Lawrence Police Department and Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Hough for their work on the case.

Updated December 18, 2014