Marijuana Exporter Hides Cash in Drywall Spackle

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Photo: Getty Images

A former resident of Milwaukie, Oregon pleaded guilty today in federal court for illegally exporting marijuana grown in Oregon to Georgia for resale and laundering the proceeds.

Dante Baldocchi, 29, currently a resident of Altadena, California, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute marijuana and commit money laundering.

According to court documents, between January 2017 and June 2020, Baldocchi purchased marijuana in Oregon and arranged to have it shipped via freight to Georgia where he and others sold it to distributors in the Atlanta area and in North Carolina. Baldocchi and his associates shipped portions of the proceeds from Georgia back to Oregon in vacuum-sealed bags and other portions concealed in buckets of drywall spackle.

On June 9, 2020, a federal search warrant was executed on Baldocchi’s then-residence in Milwaukie. Investigators located more than 330 pounds of marijuana grown in Oregon.

On August 19, 2021, Baldocchi and an associate—Hunter Lacaden, 27, of Portland—were charged by criminal information with conspiring to distribute marijuana and commit money laundering.

Baldocchi faces a maximum sentence of 60 years in federal prison with a five-year mandatory minimum, a $5.5 million fine and four years of supervised release. He will be sentenced on January 6, 2022, before U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon.

On September 21, 2021, Lacaden pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute marijuana. He will be sentenced on December 13, 2021.

Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and IRS-Criminal Investigation with assistance from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and Portland Police Bureau. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia E. Jarrett is prosecuting the case.

Source: U.S. Attorney for Oregon

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