Three Plead Guilty In Marijuana Distribution Conspiracy
Tampa, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that Chad Sunyich (37, St. George, Utah), Jason Vowell (38, St. George, Utah), and Timothy Long (39, Tampa) have pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. Sunyich and Vowell also pleaded guilty to possessing marijuana with intent to distribute. Long pleaded guilty today. Vowell pleaded guilty on June 3, 2013. Sunyich pleaded guilty on June 4, 2013. Each faces a mandatory minimum term of five years, up to forty years in federal prison on the conspiracy charge. For the possession with intent to distribute charge, Sunyich and Long also face a maximum term of twenty years in federal prison. Vowell has agreed to forfeit property that was used to facilitate the conspiracy, including his Piper Aerostar fixed wing airplane and $166,228 in cash.
According to court documents, the conspiracy began in 2010 when Sunyich sent marijuana grown in northern California to a person who would later become a cooperating witness (CW-1), in Tampa. The marijuana trafficking relationship between Sunyich and CW-1 continued into 2011 and 2012. During those years, Sunyich supplied CW-1 with quantities of marijuana ranging between thirty and ninety-nine pounds at a time, generally every 45 to 60 days.
In early 2012, Long joined the conspiracy. Long regularly collected marijuana proceeds for Sunyich and received pounds of marijuana from Sunyich for further distribution.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher F. Murray.