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Thursday, Sep 18, 2014
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Tampa man, two others plead guilty in marijuana conspiracy case


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A Tampa man and two others from Utah have pleaded guilty to charges that they were part of a conspiracy to sell marijuana grown in California during several years.

Timothy Long, 39, of Tampa, and Chad Sunyich, 37, and Jason Vowell, 38, both of St. George, Utah, have all pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill. Sunyich and Vowell also pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Long pleaded guilty Wednesday, while Vowell pleaded guilty June 3 and Sunyich pleaded guilty on June 4. Each faces a mandatory minimum of five years in federal prison, and up to 40 years on the conspiracy charge. For the possession with intent to distribute charge, Sunyich and Long also face a 20-year prison term.

Vowell has agreed to forfeit property that was used during the conspiracy, including his Piper Aerostar airplane and $166,228 in cash, the release said.

According to court documents, the conspiracy began in 2010 when Sunyich sent marijuana that was grown in northern California to a person in Tampa who would later become a witness. The trafficking relationship between the witness and Sunyich continued into 2011 and 2012. In those years, Sunyich supplied the witness with marijuana deliveries ranging between 30 and 99 pounds, generally every 45 to 60 days.

Long joined the conspiracy in early 2012, collected marijuana proceeds for Sunyich and also received marijuana for distribution.

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