December 17, 2013

Gray man sentenced to six years in marijuana smuggling case

The DEA says James Sweeney and others of transported hundreds of pounds of marijuana from Arizona to Maine.

By Scott Dolan
Staff Writer

A man from Gray who was one of three people accused of coordinating an interstate marijuana smuggling operation from Arizona to Maine was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to serve nearly six years in prison.

James Sweeney, 29, along with Gerald Rich Jr., 49, of Frankfurt and Mark Wolosko, 48, of Kennebunkport, arranged multiple trips to buy hundreds of pounds of marijuana from a supplier in Arizona and bring it to Maine for resale in the period from April 1 to June 30, 2011, according to court records.

Sweeney had a connection to the marijuana supplier in Arizona. Rich and others sold it to customers in Maine. Wolosko assisted them, according to an affidavit filed by Special Agent Sean Sears of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The DEA targeted them in an investigation after one of their drivers, who is not named in court documents, was stopped outside Springfield, Mo., on a return trip while driving a 31-foot Coachman motor home with about 350 pounds of marijuana inside, court records say.

Sweeney was sentenced by Judge John Woodcock Jr. to serve 70 months in federal prison, followed by a four-year term of supervised release. Sweeney had pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms of more of marijuana.

Rich was sentenced on July 30 to serve 72 months in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised released. Wolosko was sentenced on May 28 to serve 18 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release.

Rich and Wolosko each pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge identical to the one against Sweeney. Rich also pleaded guilty to making false statements to a federal law enforcement officer.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:sdolan@pressherald.comTwitter: @scottddolan
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