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Press Release

Waco Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Family-Based Marijuana Distribution Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas

A Waco, TX, man was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for his role in a family-based marijuana distribution conspiracy announced Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.

In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr., ordered that 59–year-old Phillip Larry Koss pay a $1,000 fine and be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term.

In February, a federal jury in Waco convicted Koss of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute in excess of 50 kilograms of marijuana.  The jury acquitted him of one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and one count of maintaining a drug involved premise.  According to evidence presented during trial, the defendant participated in a drug trafficking scheme by using his bank account to finance portions of the operation including paying for cell phones, marijuana cultivating equipment and other miscellaneous bills.

On November 29, 2013, authorities executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence and discovered approximately 12 pounds of tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC, several firearms and $27,000 in U.S. Currency.  Authorities have also recovered approximately 200 pounds of marijuana resulting from related search warrants executed in California as well as traffic stops during this investigation.  Testimony also revealed that Koss’ son, Conner, among others, cultivated high grade marijuana in the State of California and arranged for it to be transported to and distributed in the Austin area.

In July 2014, Phillip Larry Koss entered a guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute marijuana, but withdrew his guilty plea in November 2014 prior to sentencing.

Koss’ four co-defendants, including his wife and two sons, have been convicted of their roles in the marijuana trafficking conspiracy and sentenced as a result of this investigation.  Last year, Conner Phillip Koss received a sentence of 121 months incarceration; Le’Ann Koss, 70 months incarceration; and, Brian Thomas Smith, two years incarceration.  On January 7, 2015, Chad Koss was sentenced to three years probation including six months home confinement and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

This investigation was conducted by the McGregor Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and the Yuba County (CA) Narcotics Enforcement Team.  Assistant United States Attorney Mary F. Kucera prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

Updated April 29, 2015

Drug Trafficking