Former Tahoe dispensary owner sentenced to prison
April 14, 2013
Former South Lake Tahoe medical marijuana dispensary operator Gino DiMatteo will be required to surrender to federal custody on May 31 under a sentence handed down this week.
U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller sentenced DiMatteo, 43, to five years in prison Wednesday as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
The former City of Angels 2 Collective operator pleaded guilty in January to a single count of felony drug trafficking following an August police search of his South Lake Tahoe home that turned up 5 pounds of marijuana and 15 pounds of marijuana plant fragments, as well as packaging equipment consistent with transporting marijuana out of state, according to investigators.
"As part of his Plea Agreement, Mr. DiMatteo specifically admitted that he possessed the marijuana seized from his residence on August 31, 2012, with an intent to distribute it to others," according to a Wednesday statement from federal prosecutors.
Prosecutors dropped two marijuana cultivation charges against DiMatteo as part of the plea agreement.
During sentencing Mueller recommended DiMatteo be incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Institution Herlong.
The judge also recommended DiMatteo participate in a 500-hour substance abuse treatment program, according to court documents.
Leading up to the sentencing hearing, DiMatteo requested the medium-security facility north or Reno, as well as the rehabilitation program to treat his alcohol abuse.
Where DiMatteo will serve his sentence will be determined by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
He will be required to serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison, according to court documents.
El Dorado County prosecutors dropped state charges against DiMatteo after federal attorneys took up the case. Federal drug trafficking sentences are typically longer than those imposed in state courts, according to the statement.
The federal system also does not provide early release on parole like state courts, according to the statement.
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