Kansas City Hollywood Casino: Man pleads guilty in weed trafficking, money laundering conspiracy
Kansas City Hollywood Casino:
Man pleads guilty in weed trafficking, money laundering conspiracy
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSNT) — According to U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, a California man pleaded guilty yesterday to being a key part of an organization growing marijuana in California and transporting it to the Kansas City area for distribution.
Richard Dertinger, a 33-year-old from West Sacramento, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of money laundering.
At the plea hearing on Wednesday, prosecutors said that from 2011 to 2014 he was part of a trafficking organization that grew marijuana on farms and in warehouses in California. When the organization was just starting, the traffickers mailed Home Depot buckets and basketballs full of marijuana to Kansas. They later hired people to drive cars carrying the drug to Kansas, then drive money from Kansas back to California.
One time, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department stopped Dertinger’s car as he was carrying more than $52,000 in cash from marijuana sales.
However, another time, Dertinger and others inserted more than $470,000 into slot machines in the Hollywood Casino in KCK. They cashed out of the slot machines with little or no play and collected cash from an ATM within the casino. They were intending to use the casino to convert small denomination bills into larger ones, but casino employees reported money laundering to law enforcement when they saw it.
Sentencing will be set later. He faces a penalty of no less than five years and no more than 40 years in federal prison, plus a fine up to $5 million.
Grissom commended the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Secret Service, the Hollywood Casino management and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Tomasic for their work on the case.