California Man Sentenced for Transporting Marijuana Cash
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that on December 18, 2014, a California man was sentenced to 12 months plus one day in prison for interstate travel or transportation in aid of racketeering enterprises. Senior United States District Judge Richard G. Kopf also ordered Ryan William Perich, 30, of Elk Grove, California, to pay a fine of $6,000 and to serve three years on supervised release after completing his prison term.
On January 24, 2014, Perich was stopped on westbound I-80 near Lincoln by Lancaster County Sheriff’s Deputies for following a semi-tractor trailer truck too closely. He consented to a search of his rental vehicle, and a total of $934,722 in cash was found. Perich told the deputies he knew the money came from marijuana sales, and said he was transporting the cash to California from the east coast at the direction of other persons. Perich said the money did not belong to him. Papers found in the vehicle contained addresses and entry code numbers for storage units on the east coast and notes believed to contain records of drug debts and/or money collected. Homeland Security Investigations Agents served search warrants at several east coast storage facilities referenced in the notes found in Perich’s rental vehicle and obtained security videos and other information. Security video from one of those facilities showed Perich taking a number of boxes into the storage facility and leaving them there. The $934,722 cash was confiscated and was administratively forfeited to the United States of America by the Department of Homeland Security in April of 2014.
Information obtained from the Drug Enforcement Administration, (DEA), indicated that high-grade, indoor-grow marijuana would sell for approximately $4,500 per pound on the east coast. Based on that estimate, the $934,772 in cash would be roughly equivalent to 94 kilograms or approximately 208 pounds of marijuana.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration.