Man lands 17 years for pot operation

Posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2000

ANCHORAGE - A Wasilla marijuana-grower was sentenced Monday to 17 years in federal prison on money-laundering charges.

Robert Johnston III, 61, owned and operated one of the most sophisticated indoor marijuana grow operations in the Matanuska and Susitna valleys, prosecutors said.

Johnston had been found guilty by a jury of 49 counts of money laundering stemming from drug manufacturing activities. His marijuana growing operation was shut down in November of 1996 when troopers seized more than 70 pounds of marijuana growing indoors on 6-foot trees.

According to court documents, Johnston spent more than $300,000 in cash receipts from marijuana sales during 1995 and 1996.

Some of the money was used to maintain a Wasilla building where his marijuana factory was housed. Another portion was funneled through the name of a fictitious tenant at the grow site.



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