$263K from drug case headed to El Dorado County
February 6, 2014
The U.S. Attorney's Office is distributing $230,600 to the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office and $32,900 to the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office for their help investigating an interstate marijuana trafficking ring.
Cash, bank accounts and a house on 10 acres of land in Placerville were forfeited from two county defendants, 50-year-old Robert Edward Mulready and 40-year-old Duane Patrick Petersen.
The men were charged with conspiring to cultivate marijuana and distribute it across state lines. Mulready was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison and Petersen was sentenced to 22 months, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The forfeited money is available through a U.S. Department of Justice equitable sharing program designed to enhance cooperation among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies by sharing proceeds from federal forfeitures.
"I particularly want to thank the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department and the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office for their outstanding cooperation and investigative work. Asset forfeiture is a powerful tool that deprives criminals of the proceeds of their illegal activities; the equitable sharing program equips law enforcement to better protect their communities," U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner said in a news release.
The case was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration and El Dorado County's Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team.
"The arrest, prosecution and asset forfeiture of proceeds from this criminal investigation should send a strong message that federal and local law enforcement will not allow such operations to continue," El Dorado County Sheriff John D'Agostini said in a statement.
District Attorney Vern Pierson called the case "a prime example of county, state and federal law enforcement agencies working together to make El Dorado County a safer place to live."