Saturday, September 1, 2012

Three plead guilty in federal marijuana case - Sacramento Bee

Three men pleaded guilty to federal marijuana cultivation charges Friday in connection with a south Sacramento dispensary accused of illegally distributing pot to Southern California and beyond.

The guilty pleas by Bruce Goldsmith, 61, of Galt; Kelly Smith, 53, of Elk Grove; and Robert Klaus, 35, follow guilty pleas by two other defendants earlier this year in the case of the R&R Wellness Collective.

One of the dispensary's chief officers, Bryan Smith, 28, faces a Sacramento federal trial Nov. 27.

Last year, a federal criminal complaint alleged R&R Wellness was part of a lucrative conspiracy of growing houses, stolen electricity and pot distribution to buyers in Los Angeles and Phoenix.

The complaint said authorities seized $250,000 in cash from Bryan Smith's home and also recovered a videotape in which he boasted of earning $100,000 every 40 to 60 days from marijuana.

Authorities said Kelly Smith, Bryan Smith's father, and four other men grew marijuana for the operation in Sacramento, Elk Grove and San Diego.

Two other defendants, Ryder Phillips, 26, and Daniel Goldsmith, 26, pleaded guilty to cultivation charges.

Phillips was sentenced to two years in prison. Daniel Goldsmith is due to be sentenced Sept. 21 and Bruce Goldsmith, Kelly Smith and Klaus are due to be sentenced Nov. 16.

â€" Peter Hecht

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