Virginia Beach Painter-Turned-Marijuana-Dealer Sentenced To 30 Years

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Mar 20, 2004.

  1. (AP) - A bankrupt painting contractor who became a marijuana dealer to pull himself out of financial trouble has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for running a $50 million drug ring.

    Robert E. Phillips, 55, of Virginia Beach, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and money laundering charges. Authorities said his nationwide marijuana ring was one of the largest to ever operate in Hampton Roads.

    "I'm sorry I got involved in all this," he said Thursday in U.S. District Court in Norfolk.

    Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Virginia Beach police seized more than $3 million, several homes, a boat and a tractor-trailer that had been used to haul the drugs around the country.

    Phillips amassed so much cash during the 11 years he ran the operation that some of it had grown moldy sitting inside storage units. His operation distributed more than 30 tons of marijuana over the 11 years. Roughly $2 million worth of pot has been seized.

    Authorities think Phillips imported marijuana from Mexico, mostly through the borders with Arizona and Texas. He based his operation out of a home in Chesapeake, authorities said.

    In the late 1990s, police discovered large amounts of marijuana in Missouri and at a border crossing in Texas. Phillips avoided prosecution at the time by paying his couriers not to snitch on him, authorities said.

    Phillips said Thursday he was "looking for a quick fix" after his painting company went under in the early 1990s. "At no time did I think I was hurting anybody," he said.

    Ten others have been convicted in the case.

    (Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
     
  2. thats one cool cat.
     
  3. when was that? i live round those parts and if it just happened i'm hoping we won't dry up
     

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