Archive for Friday, June 20, 2014

Lawrence man pleads guilty to federal marijuana trafficking charges

June 20, 2014

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A Lawrence man faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty in federal court in Topeka to two counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Michael D. Landsness, 27, admitted in court papers that he was one of the distributors for a marijuana trafficking organization in Lawrence that was the target of a federal probe beginning in November 2012, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom.

On April 3, 2013, undercover investigators arranged with Landsness to buy a pound of marijuana for $3,000, Grissom said. The next day, officers stopped Landsness and found half a pound of marijuana in his car.

Three other Lawrence residents were charged as co-conspirators: Benjamin Johnson, 33, who is set for trial on Sept. 9; Dominick A. Howard, 20, who is awaiting trial; and Senator J. Christopher Hood, 26, who is set for jury trial Aug. 19.

Landsness is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 12.

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