Medical Marijuana Distributors Face Up To 40 Year Prison Sentences For Illegal Selling

Rather than attempting to fight the system,  owners of two marijuana dispensaries pleaded guilty Aug. 28 to drug trafficking in a federal court.  They said they were selling cannabis for profit, in large quantities, which violated federal and state law.

According to THE COURIER HERALD, one of the owners, Brionne Corbray, 47, operated three G.A.M.E. collectives in Seattle.  She pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana.  And the other owners, Craig Dieffenbach, 61, and Jingjing Mo, 31, own Seattle Cannabis Cooperative locations and pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana, with an additional charge of Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering.

Conspiracy to distribute marijuana is punishable by up to 40 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  Conspiracy to launder Money is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The establishments were caught in a sting operation by undercover agents who were able to purchase marijuana the establishments on multiple occasions without a valid medical authorization.  The agents were also able to purchase hashish and marijuana on occasion.  Police reported that Corbray encouraged customers to consume or smoke marijuana on the premises while also drinking alcohol.

Police also said Corbray promoted after-hours parties involving alcohol and marijuana and Corbray admitted on the record purchasing a 2007 Mercedes Benz E550W for $34,000 cash.  Because he admitted the car was bought using drug money, it is being forfeited to the federal government.

Corbray will face sentencing in November and Dieffenbach and Mo will face sentencing in December.  Both distributions were singled out by law enforcement in October when police believed they were selling a large amount.

“These drug fronts had little to do with ‘compassionate care’ and everything to do with lining their own pockets,” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan told the Courrier.  “While we will not prosecute ill people or their true care providers, we also will not let common drug dealers masquerade as something they are not.”

A DEA Special Agent in Charge Matthew Barnes credited the “violators” with accepting responsibility for their illegal actions, and said police treat the distribution of cannabis as a “dangerous” drug.

“There is no accommodation in either state or federal law which allows marijuana storefronts to openly operate within the State of Washington,” he said.  “The United States Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that its distribution and sale is a serious federal crime. The DEA remains fully committed to enforcing federal drug laws throughout the Pacific Northwest.”

Dieffenbach and Mo admitted selling pound quantities of marijuana for profit to customers without a medical authorization card. Mo also admitted offering to sell 25 pounds of marijuana for nation-wide distribution.