Former Watertown Town Councilman And Ex-Wife Plead Guilty To Marijuana Distribution And Money Laundering
BOSTON – A former Watertown Town Councilman and his ex-wife pleaded guilty today to marijuana distribution and money laundering charges in a case that arose from a law enforcement seizure of more than 1,000 marijuana plants found in the former councilman’s warehouse in 2011.
Thomas Gus Bailey, 51, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana, distribution of marijuana, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Barbara Waldman, 49, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.
From at least 2001 through October 2011, Bailey ran a marijuana cultivation and distribution business which overlapped with the time he served on Watertown’s Town Council (2002 to 2006). Over this 10-year period, Bailey gradually expanded his lucrative marijuana business by moving his operation to successively larger indoor grow locations and hiring more workers to trim his marijuana plants and prepare the marijuana for sale. Further, beginning in at least 2006, he orchestrated a money laundering scheme where he and his co-conspirators, including his ex-wife, as well as his former mistress, laundered more than $1 million in drug proceeds. At Bailey’s direction, his co-conspirators made hundreds of separate cash deposits in amounts of $5,000 or less into their bank accounts, and then provided checks to Bailey in furtherance of his marijuana operation. Waldman was responsible for laundering at least $900,000 as part of this scheme. All of Bailey’s and Waldman’s co-defendants have also pleaded guilty in this case.
On the charge of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana, Bailey faces a maximum sentence of a lifetime in prison, lifetime of supervised release, and a $10 million fine; on the charge of distribution of marijuana, Bailey faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine; on the charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering, Bailey and Waldman face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and a $500,000 fine or twice the value of the property involved in the money-laundering transactions, whichever is greater. Both defendants will be sentenced on Feb. 27, 2014.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; John G. Collins, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; and Acting Chief Keith MacPherson of the Waltham Police Department, made the announcement today. The Suburban Middlesex County Drug Task Force also provided assistance to the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Young Paik of Ortiz’s Drug Task Force Unit.