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Thread: Marijuana Ring Leader Pleads Guilty

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    Marijuana Ring Leader Pleads Guilty

    Gary B. Coulter's 30-year career dealing in marijuana has ended. The 54-year-old resident of eastern Crawford County, charged in one of the biggest marijuana-growing operations in Pennsylvania history, has pleaded guilty to having the key role in that case, all but guaranteeing that he will spend at least 10 years in a federal prison.

    The government prosecuted Coulter only for the 1,183 full-grown marijuana plants -- worth an estimated street value of $1.2 million -- that drug agents seized from secret growing spots throughout eastern Crawford County in the summer of 2006. However, according to statements from the government at Coulter's plea hearing on Wednesday, Coulter has trafficked in marijuana for 20 to 30 years, and during that period never filed a federal income tax return.

    Coulter "was significantly involved in the distribution of marijuana in the Crawford County area," said the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian Trabold. Trabold at the plea hearing did not provide a dollar figure for how much money the government believes Coulter and his five co-defendants, including his son, Dustin C. Coulter, made off the marijuana ring that the agents busted in 2006. But Coulter's plea deal requires him to forfeit to the government all the items and property that investigators said he bought with drug-related revenue.

    The list of forfeited property is attached to Coulter's plea letter. The inventory goes on for five pages and comprises 99 items.

    They include seven Harley-Davidson motorcycles, including two with sidecars; three Harley-Davidson three-wheeled motorcycles; several all-terrain vehicles; a Jeep Wrangler; three Jaguars; two crossbows; 49 firearms, including handguns, rifles and shotguns; two pairs of binoculars; a pair of night-vision goggles; a wireless video system; a set of two-way radios; four scales; two grow lights; and a wind-machine fan.

    Coulter, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic in marijuana, faces a mandatory 10-year sentence because the number of seized marijuana plants was larger than 1,000, a threshold amount for certain federal sentencing factors to kick in. Coulter's maximum possible sentence is life in prison, but he is likely to get only the 10-year mandatory sentence once the judge accounts for the credit Coulter will receive for pleading guilty. Coulter as part of the plea also agreed to waive his right to appeal his sentence, except under highly limited circumstances.


    Senior U.S. District Judge Maurice B. Cohill Jr. accepted the plea and set sentencing for Aug. 5 in federal court in Erie. He asked Coulter why he decided to plead guilty. "I just want to get this over with and behind me," Coulter said. Coulter attended the sentencing in a wheelchair. He had a leg amputated after a motorcycle accident in 2005.

    Coulter answered Cohill's questions quietly, and he said he has been diagnosed as being "opiate-dependent." He said he had no problem with the summary of the case that Trabold read to Cohill. "That's fair," Coulter said.

    Authorities described Coulter's marijuana growing operation as one of the largest in Pennsylvania history when agents found the plants in August 2006. Drug agents with the state Attorney General's Office initiated the probe, which they started by having a confidential informant buy marijuana at Coulter's house in the 17000 block of Halfast Road in Rome Township.

    The agents got a search warrant and raided the house. The critical piece of seized evidence was a written "cultivation record for the group's marijuana," Trabold said in court. He said Coulter told the agents his live-in girlfriend, Lisa Parker, kept the log, which was written in code. Parker "produced a detailed confession about the code book," Trabold said, and agents used the information to find the marijuana plants growing throughout eastern Crawford County.

    A federal grand jury in Erie indicted Coulter, Parker and their four co-defendants on marijuana charges on June 12. All but Parker, who is awaiting trial, have pleaded guilty or have pleaded guilty and been sentenced.

    What's next? Gary B. Coulter, the central figure in a huge marijuana-growing case in Crawford County, faces a mandatory sentence of 10 years in a federal prison at his Aug. 5 sentence in federal court in Erie. He pleaded guilty Wednesday.

    Five other defendants were also charged in the case.

    1. Coulter's live-in girlfriend, Lisa Parker, is awaiting trial.
    2. Coulter's son, Dustin C. Coulter, was sentenced Monday to a year and six months in federal prison.
    3. Parker's son, Nathan Parker, pleaded guilty and will be sentenced Aug. 5.
    4. Randy Popieski was sentenced Monday to a day in federal custody and four years of probation.
    5. James Keyes pleaded guilty and will be sentenced Aug. 4.


    Source: The Erie Times-News
    Copright: 2008, The Erie Times-News
    Contact: ED PALATTELLA, ed.palattella@timesnews.com [more details]
    Website: GoErie.com: Marijuana ring leader pleads guilty

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    Re: Marijuana Ring Leader Pleads Guilty

    Ouch.

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    Re: Marijuana Ring Leader Pleads Guilty

    Figure the cost of his incarceration! The cost to his family! The cost to his health! The feds have gone crazy with these sentences! Just think, when cannabis becomes legal, these same feds will be taking money from "cannabis corporations" and buying their stock. Ignorance and greed, ignorance and greed.

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    Re: Marijuana Ring Leader Pleads Guilty

    What sucks is getting 10 years for not hurting anyone but the IRS. He would have paid taxes had it been regulated and taxed. We are loosing out on billions to these draconian laws.

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    420 Member Cherma's Avatar
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    Re: Marijuana Ring Leader Pleads Guilty

    Draconian is right!!! The man who killed my brother and was convicted of 2nd degree manslaughter served 30 days and 2 years probation for his 4th DUI.
    As you said, "not hurting anyone but the IRS". the penalty for what "Gary B. Coulter" is being convicted of does not warrant the long sentence. I know, personally serving 18 months on a 10 year sentence for possession of 10 Lbs. The judge took this into consideration for me and dropped the 3 Federal charges carrying 45 years, but had to give me the ten years with a minimum of 18 months served. On sentencing He stated " These laws in this book say, that I have minimum sentencing guidelines that I have to empose upon a defendant during his or her sentencing, they do need to be ammended and changed to reflect the current social and moral values of todays society they are not what I personally believe in, regretfully I have to sentence you to ten years in a state corrections facility"
    One never forgets those words

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    Re: Marijuana Ring Leader Pleads Guilty

    more bullllllshit misguided politicians and police.
    You cant help someone up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself..
    out
    Omega Healthcare Collective Central OC

    http://www.420magazine.com/forums/jo...onal-99-a.html


    Wake and Bake with Maryjane

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    Re: Marijuana Ring Leader Pleads Guilty

    Hi all, happened across this while doing a boredom induced google search. I don't know much about Gary, but that article doesn't mention what an amazing mother/grandmother/friend Lisa is. Also it says she's his live in gf.. they've been married for (I believe) about 20 years. Another note.. her trial date is March 11 of this year. So if you're in the Crawford County area feel free to pull out the picket signs. She can use all the help she can get.

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    Re: Marijuana Ring Leader Pleads Guilty

    So, let me see if I understand this.

    The federal government prosecutes Coulter for producing marijuana that harms no one, and helps sick people, yet they happily allow over 600,000 US citizens to be slaughtered every year by the bosses of companies that produce tobacco and alcohol that makes healthy people sick.

    Hm... what's wrong with this picture?

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    Re: Marijuana Ring Leader Pleads Guilty

    used to be back a few years best pot in n. western pa was out of crawford county i thought a buddy was nuts to pay 25 a gram back in late 80's for gani but i liked it too and knew a buddy went to crawford county twice a month[ 1/2 hour drive] probably smoked with him at summer biker pig roasts down that away too busy snarfing down electric kool aid for the non drunkers to worry about names .......

    more of that we'll dump your charges if you lead us to something bigger wheeling dealing on scared little guys caught smoking a joint and getting an informant....

    wonder what the founding fathers would say....

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    Re: Marijuana Ring Leader Pleads Guilty

    Quote Originally Posted by zolar View Post
    used to be back a few years best pot in n. western pa was out of crawford county i thought a buddy was nuts to pay 25 a gram back in late 80's for gani but i liked it too and knew a buddy went to crawford county twice a month[ 1/2 hour drive] probably smoked with him at summer biker pig roasts down that away too busy snarfing down electric kool aid for the non drunkers to worry about names .......

    more of that we'll dump your charges if you lead us to something bigger wheeling dealing on scared little guys caught smoking a joint and getting an informant....

    wonder what the founding fathers would say....
    "wonder what the founding fathers would say...."

    The end of this video may give the answer.


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    Re: Marijuana Ring Leader Pleads Guilty

    Quote Originally Posted by SparkyInSpace View Post
    Hi all, happened across this while doing a boredom induced google search. I don't know much about Gary, but that article doesn't mention what an amazing mother/grandmother/friend Lisa is. Also it says she's his live in gf.. they've been married for (I believe) about 20 years. Another note.. her trial date is March 11 of this year. So if you're in the Crawford County area feel free to pull out the picket signs. She can use all the help she can get.
    Edit: The trial is in Erie County 1pm

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    Re: Marijuana Ring Leader Pleads Guilty

    HOLY COOWW !! I just looked up the definition of fascism in the Webster's New World Dictionary. " a system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship, forcible suppression of opposition, private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control, beligerent nationalism, racism, and militarism, etc. See also Nazi "
    O.K. Let's see, I heard on TV, " we won so we're writing the bill ! "
    And then I heard about " the Fairness Doctrine "
    And Now we have " AIG, Citibank,GM,etc.blah-blah "
    I'm Gettin' Worried

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    Re: Marijuana Ring Leader Pleads Guilty

    Hey, SparkyInSpace.......

    THANKS for the Support !!!!!

    I'm lucky to have you for my Friend.........