Spouse and cousin of drug trafficking ringleader sentenced to significant prison terms for their roles in drug distribution conspiracy
A south Puget Sound area resident who tried to hide his illegal drug dealing behind what he falsely claimed was a ‘medical marijuana’ dispensary consistent with state law, was convicted today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma of two federal charges related to drug distribution, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. The jury deliberated 4 hours before finding LANCE EDWARD GLOOR, 37, guilty of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, and manufacturing marijuana. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on conspiracy to commit money laundering and acquitted GLOOR of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. GLOOR faces a mandatory minimum 5 years to 40 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton on April 15, 2016.
According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, GLOOR and his long-time business associate were the subjects of law enforcement investigations as early as 2010. In the fall of 2010, local law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at GLOOR’s home where they discovered more than 70 marijuana plants and a firearm. While awaiting trial on charges filed in state court, GLOOR and his associate opened four so-called marijuana ‘dispensaries:’ Tacoma Cross, Lacey Cross, Seattle Cross, and over on the Kitsap Peninsula, KPN Cross. A joint state and federal law enforcement investigation revealed that these locations claimed to be medical marijuana “non-profit dispensaries” operating under state law, when in fact they were for profit businesses generating millions of dollars in gross revenues totally inconsistent with applicable state requirements. Search warrants were served on the business in 2011, and following that GLOOR claimed he was getting out of the marijuana business. In fact, further investigation and a second round of search warrants in 2013 revealed GLOOR was still operating two of the four dispensaries, but had attempted to hide his ongoing role.
GLOOR was indicted with two co-conspirators in November 2013. His co-conspirators have entered guilty pleas and are awaiting sentencing.
The case was investigated by the Thurston Narcotic Task Force (TNT) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Vince Lombardi and Marci Ellsworth.