Man gets 5 years for marijuana operation

Posted: Monday, December 14, 2009

FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison after he was convicted of running a large-scale marijuana growing operation reportedly worth $2 million a year.

Federal prosecutors said they reached a plea deal with 59-year-old John Tobe Larson last September.

Larson said Friday he was concerned he may not be able to pay back a $700,000 loan he took out on a pub in Ireland that has been in his family for 300 years.

His attorney said Larson had to forfeit nearly $1 million worth of property, including a plane, mining equipment and gold nuggets.

The extensive marijuana growing operation at Larson's Eureka Gold Mine claim was discovered last June after Larson offered a former employee a job tending more than 600 marijuana plants.



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