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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Seventh Person Pleads Guilty In Marijuana Smuggling Conspiracy

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Amber Dorius (31, St. George, Utah) today pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to distribute marijuana.  She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

According to court documents, from 2011 to January 2013, Chad Sunyich arranged for quantities of marijuana to be driven and flown to the Middle District of Florida, from California and Utah, for further distribution. In 2011, Dorius worked as a courier in Sunyich’s organization. She worked with others to transport marijuana from California to Hillsborough County, Florida, by car, generally every forty-five to sixty days. On many of these trips, Dorius’ associate would drive a car carrying the marijuana. Dorius would drive ahead in a separate car, acting as a lookout. Once the marijuana arrived in Hillsborough County, it was distributed.

Dorius is the seventh individual in this investigation to plead guilty. Others pleaded guilty to a marijuana distribution conspiracy charge as follows:

  • Chad Sunyich pleaded guilty on June 4, 2013.  He was sentenced on August 22, 2013, to five years in federal prison.
  • Timothy O’Neal Long pleaded guilty on June 26, 2013.  He was sentenced on September 13, 2013, to three years and one month in federal prison.
  • Jason Vowell pleaded guilty on June 3, 2013.  He was sentenced on August 19, 2013, to twelve months in federal prison and ordered to forfeit a Piper Aerostar fixed wing aircraft which had been used to smuggle marijuana from St. George, Utah to Tampa, and $166,228 in drug proceeds.
  • Jeff Laflamboy pleaded guilty on January 7, 2014.  His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 23, 2014.
  • Miryana Calderon Long pleaded guilty on December 3, 2013.  Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 10, 2014.
  • Lucas Dahlberg pleaded guilty on April 17, 2014.  His sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation.  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher F. Murray.

Updated January 26, 2015