In a U.S. court last week, Michelle Rainey and Gregory Keith Williams both pleaded
guilty to Conspiracy to Manufacture Marijuana. Rainey, 38, and Williams, 54,
both of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, voluntarily appeared in Seattle to
resolve the charges stemming from a 2005 grand jury indictment. Under the terms
of the plea agreements with Rainey and Williams, both sides will recommend
sentences of two years probation. Sentencing is scheduled before U.S District
Court Judge Ricardo S. Martinez on July 17, 2009. The lead defendant in the
indictment, marijuana seed distributor Marc Emery, remains in Canada, fighting
extradition to the United States on the charges. Emery bills himself as the
“Prince of Pot.”
According to facts
recounted in her plea agreement, Rainey worked for Emery from 1998 to 2005.
Rainey assisted with Emery’s mail order marijuana seed business filling orders
that came in by mail. At Emery’s instruction, Rainey sent seeds, as well as
growing instructions, out to customers of which 75% of the customers were
located in the United States. Between 2003 and 2005, Rainey earned as much as
$1,000 per week mailing out the seeds and information.
According to his plea
agreement, Williams handled the phone orders for the business and the wire
transfer information customers used for payment. Williams also worked at the
seed desk, selling seeds directly to customers who came into Emery’s store. On
numerous occasions in 2004, Williams sold seeds to a DEA undercover agent. At
Emery’s request, Williams authored the growing instructions that were mailed out
with the marijuana seeds. Williams income from the business increased over time
and by 2005, Emery was paying him $300.00 per day.
Williams verified that the
information posted on the Emery website claiming that Emery took in more than
$3,000,000 annually selling marijuana seeds was in fact accurate. Emery claims
to have sold more than 4,000,000 marijuana seeds, three-quarters of those to
customers in the United States. Emery is scheduled for an extradition hearing in
Canada on June 1, 2009.
This case was investigated
by the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S Immigration and Customs
Read the Opposing Views debate, Should the U.S. Continue the War on Drugs?