A 39-year-old Los Angeles man accused of supplying local pot shops with pounds of cannabis pleaded guilty to 24 felony counts, “including cultivating marijuana, money laundering and other criminal charges,” the District Attorney's office announced Monday.
Authorities said they linked Lawrence Holtz to at least two grow houses that contained 1,300 plants and 110 pounds of weed. The pot was intended to be sold to medical marijuana dispensaries, the D.A.'s office contends.
Holtz pleaded guilty to two counts each of cultivating marijuana, utility theft, and transporting marijuana; and one count each of possession of marijuana for sale and tax evasion; and 16 counts of money laundering, according to the D.A.'s office.
He was expected to be sentenced on Aug. 26 to two years in prison.
The defendant was nabbed following an investigation by the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement that led to the grow houses, including a third operation that had been dismantled, authorities alleged.
Holtz was arrested Aug. 22, 2008 at “an underground parking garage in North Hollywood where he was allegedly caught selling three pounds of marijuana for $3,000 a pound to a medical marijuana dispensary owner,” according to the D.A.'s statement.
Authorities claim that Holtz also tried to hide income from the enterprise, claiming $12,000 on a tax return when he deposited at least $270,000 in alleged weed proceeds in an account and transferred $133,000 to a Panamanian bank, according to the office.
A co-defendant, 27-year-old Joby Lee Alloway, pleaded guilty in May to one count each of cultivating marijuana and utility theft after he was caught allegedly running one of the grow houses in question. He received a sentence of three months behind bars.