Sacramento, California - A Redding man convicted for his role in a conspiracy to grow marijuana in California and transport it to the East Coast for sale was sentenced Wednesday to six and a half years in prison, following a multiagency probe that included U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
John James Kash, 53, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. Kash was convicted in November 2015 after a six-day jury trial of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, manufacturing marijuana, and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michele Beckwith, Christiaan Highsmith, Kevin Khasigian, and Justin Lee prosecuted the case.
The evidence at trial showed Kash was part of an interstate marijuana trafficking conspiracy that diverted marijuana from California to Pennsylvania from 2009 through 2013. Kash was arrested in 2013 after being found in a Redding warehouse that had been converted into an indoor marijuana grow. The warehouse contained four separate marijuana grow rooms with plants in various stages of development to allow for year-round marijuana production.
Kash and his co-conspirators shipped the marijuana grown in the Redding area to Pittsburgh. Kash, a native of Pennsylvania, coordinated the marijuana distribution in the Pittsburgh area. In May 2013, Kash and co-defendant James Massery shipped 158 one-pound bags of marijuana concealed in shrink-wrapped barrels from California to Pennsylvania. Kash and co-conspirators Massery, Glen Meyers, and Aimee Burgess were all arrested in Pennsylvania as they were unloading the marijuana from the barrels.
Kash recruited his family and friends to assist with the concealment and transport of the cash generated by the drug trafficking activities. During an eight-month period between August 2010 and April 2011, Kash and others attempted to launder $382,000 in drug proceeds through credit unions in Pittsburgh and Redding. Kash was arrested in May 2012 in Utah attempting to drive $60,000 in cash from Pittsburgh to Redding.
The United States ultimately seized approximately $1 million in drug proceeds from various bank accounts and other assets that Kash and his co-conspirators controlled.
This case was the product of a probe by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Sacramento Valley Financial Crimes Task Force, with assistance from HSI, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Pennsylvania’s Washington County Drug Task Force, and the Utah Highway Patrol.
Kash is the last of four defendants to be sentenced. Co-defendant Glen Meyers was sentenced to eight years and two months in prison; James Massery was sentenced to six years and three months in prison; and Aimee Burgess was sentenced to five years in prison.