Marijuana farmer sisters convicted of attempted $1 million bribe to Northern California sheriff

A pair of brothers convicted of trying to bribe a sheriff in Siskiyou County, Calif., received different punishments at a sentencing hearing on Tuesday.

Chi Meng Yang, 36, of Montague, Siskiyou County, and Gaosheng Laitinen, 41, of St. Paul, Minnesota, attempted bribery It grows out of a local government with the aim of protecting family marijuana.

Yang, who was convicted in March of manufacturing more than 100 marijuana plants and attempting to bribe then-Siskiyou County Sheriff John Lopey, was sentenced to five years and 11 months in prison, followed by five years. was sentenced to release under the supervision of

United States District Court Judge John A. Mendes I believed Yang lied During the trial, especially after Loppy tried to accuse him of devising the plan himself.

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“I don’t believe anything he says,” Mendez said during the sentencing, noting that he believed Yang influenced his sister to join him in his plans.

Meanwhile, Laitinen, who pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to bribe and conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, was sentenced to prison and fined $50,000, then released under two years of supervision. .

Mendez believes Laitinen had little involvement in the scheme, stating, “I’m not worried about Mr. Laitinen reoffending.” He then addressed her directly: “Don’t let me down.”

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Prior to the trial, Yang refused to negotiate a plea bargain, including one that recommended a prison sentence.

According to court documents, Yang first visited Lopey in May 2017 and offered $1 million to a charity of the sheriff’s choice in exchange for “friendship” and assistance in legalizing medical marijuana in Missouri. offered to donate

Agents run a sting operation after Lopey alerts the FBI. During the investigation, Yang and Ropy met seven times. Jan and Laitinen handed out envelopes containing money to keep eight plantations away from authorities and raids.

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After Jan’s arrest in August 2017, investigators raided the facility and found 1,168 marijuana plants.

Yang’s attempts to implicate Ropy as the mastermind of the plan failed during cross-examination.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Connolly and Aaron Pennekamp wrote in the sentencing memorandum: Just playing a “role” in Sheriff Loppy’s bribery racket. ”

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