The operator of three Inland Empire medical marijuana shops was sentenced to 10 years behind bars for selling pot through his dispensaries.

While cannabis is legal in California for patients, federal authorities don't recognize any legit use for pot. Aaron Sandusky, president of G3 Holistics, Inc., was busted by federal authorities “for distributing hundreds of pounds of marijuana,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Sundusky tried to fight it:

Supporters rallied around him and upheld the case as a test of medical marijuana's legitimacy. No dice.

The U.S. Attorney's Office today announced that Sandusky, convicted by a federal jury of two counts and let off the hook on four others, would be sent to prison for a decade.

The Los Angeles federal court's sentencing memo stated that the 42-year-old …

Credit: @g3meds

Credit: @g3meds

… is an unrepentant manipulator who used the perceived ambiguity surrounding 'medical' marijuana to exploit a business opportunity for himself.

He …

… used G3 as a means to replace the vast income he lost from the collapse of his real estate business. Defendant built a veneer of legitimacy around his criminal enterprise using his customers' good-faith search for pain relief. There is absolutely no altruistic component to defendant's continued and sustained criminality.

Sandusky was convicted of conspiracy and possession of pot with intent to distribute marijuana. The crimes, the jury said, involved at least 1,000 plants, and add up to a 10-year minimum sentence, prosecutors stated.

Feds say that Sandusky was warned in 2011 to shut down his pot shops and that he did shutter two of three. But despite two search-warrant raids and federal asset forfeiture at his Upland store, he allegedly kept operating, leading to prosecution, the U.S. Attorney's Office stated.

The group Americans for Safe Access called the case

… nothing more than a cynical attempt by the federal government to intimidate dispensary operators in Los Angeles and undermine the implementation of California's medical marijuana law.

[@dennisjromero / / @LAWeeklyNews]

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.