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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 22, 2016

California Man Sentenced For Marijuana And Money Laundering Conspiracies

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051 

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that James Parish, 31, of Carlsbad, California, who was convicted of conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana and money laundering conspiracy, was sentenced to 120 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank T. Pimentel, who handled the case, stated that between January and September 2014 the defendant sent packages of marijuana from the Carlsbad, California area to Western New York. The marijuana was then distributed and more than $800,000 in proceeds shipped back from Western New York to the defendant in California.

The investigation featured numerous successful law enforcement interceptions and discoveries. For example, On August 21, 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized a package that a person was attempting to ship at a local shipping company. The package contained $66,705 in United States currency. On that same date, the DEA seized a second package containing $77,000 in United States currency that was shipped to a shipping company in Carlsbad, California. On September 26, 2014, DEA agents executed a search warrant at co-conspirator Benjamin Golembiewski’s Buffalo residence and seized $224,123 in United States currency.

Regarding seizures of drugs, on September 18, 2014, Parish dropped off two large boxes at the shipping company in Carlsbad to be shipped to the Buffalo area. These boxes were seized by the DEA and found to contain a total of 30 pounds of marijuana.

The investigation concluded on September 30, 2014, when the defendant traveled from California to Buffalo to collect approximately $600,000 in payments for the shipped marijuana. Parish, who was arrested at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, was planning to stay at a hotel on Genesee St. in Cheektowaga. The investigation determined that Parish shipped a box to the hotel in his name, and upon locating the box, discovered that it contained an AirSoft Gun, a taser, a bullet proof vest, a knife, handcuffs, a flashlight, a tourniquet strap, a bandage kit and a GPS tracking device.

Defendant Golembiewski was sentenced to 37 months in prison.

Today’s sentencing is the result of an investigation on the part of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division, and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police, under the direction of Chief George W. Gast.

Updated April 25, 2016