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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Oregon Couple Sentenced to Federal Prison on Federal Drug Trafficking Charges

Jackson, TN – An Oregon couple, Michael and Tawni Boutin, have each been sentenced to 12-months and one day in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute marijuana. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee announced the sentence today.

According to information presented in court, on May 17, 2018, the Jackson Metro Narcotics Unit received information about manufacturing marijuana at a residence in Madison County. Law enforcement discovered an active marijuana indoor grow operation inside the residence. From the residence and a tour bus located on the property, law enforcement seized 20 pounds of marijuana and three pounds of butane hash oil, a marijuana concentrate.

On May 21, 2018, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging the defendants with conspiracy to distribute large amounts of marijuana with knowingly and intentionally manufacturing, attempting to manufacture, possessing with intent to distribute and attempting to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and marijuana concentrates.

The defendants, Mike Boutin and wife Tawni Boutin, have previously been featured as marijuana farmers on a television show called "Weed Country." Weed Country was an American reality television series on the Discovery Channel that premiered on February 20, 2013, during Discovery Channel’s programming block titled "Weed Wednesdays." The series followed dealers, growers and patients of the marijuana trade located within the Emerald Triangle, a remote fertile area on the border of Northern California and Oregon, along with the enforcers of the law at the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office. The series showed the battle between cops, dealers and the growers looking to engineer some of the most powerful marijuana on earth.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said; "In the Controlled Substances Act, Congress has generally prohibited the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana. It has established significant penalties for these crimes, which reflect Congress’s determination that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that marijuana activity is a serious crime. Here in the Western District of Tennessee, we are not ‘weed country,’ and this office will enforce the rule of law by prosecuting marijuana cultivation, distribution, and possession aggressively, consistently, and unapologetically."

Madison County Sheriff John Mehr said: "I commend the Jackson Metro Narcotics Unit for their hard work in this case and appreciate U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee for prosecuting this case. Especially, since this was a seizure of high grade marijuana brought into our county from out of state."

On February 12, 2019, U.S. District Court Chief Judge S. Thomas Anderson sentenced both Michael and Tawni Boutin to 12-months and one day in federal prison along with two years supervised release. A third co-defendant, William Brian Cisco, of Jackson is set for sentencing on March 1, 2019.

The Jackson-Madison County Metro Narcotics Unit investigated this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Wilson prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.

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Contact: 
Cherri Green Public Information Officer Cherri.Green@usdoj.gov 901-544-4231
Updated February 12, 2019