Increasingly throughout the country, cannabis is being decriminalized or legalized either medically or recreationally. Nevertheless, there is still a vast black market for the sweet cheeba and folks are facing serious time behind bars because of it. Ten individuals from the Bronx–Hallil Tabar, Asmin Hernandez, John Munoz-Garcia, Jairo Cienfuegos, William Baez, Henry Rodriguez, Danny Hannah, Jr., Kevin Umejei, Starly Hernandez and Lorne Victoria–all stand with charges of conspiracy to distribute bud (add use of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking for Victoria). For these charges, all ten now face life in prison.
The BX crew stands accused of running a weed operation since March 2016 that shipped 6,660 pounds of weed worth $22 million from California to NYC. The trees were sent to homes and businesses in Manhattan, the Bronx and New Rochelle.
In March of this year, the NYPD and the feds launched “Operation Green Giant,” which probed into the operation. According to Newsweek:
Investigators watched one alleged ring member drive off with two large, brown shipping boxes in the trunk of his BMW on June 29 after a FedEx truck dropped them off at a Bronx home, according to the complaint.
The next month, investigators stopped two parcels sent from San Francisco before they could be delivered to that same Bronx home. A drug-sniffing dog indicated there were narcotics in both boxes. When investigators got a warrant and opened them up, there were a total of 39 vacuum-sealed plastic bags of marijuana that weighed about 45 pounds in big purple bins stuffed with packing peanuts.
FedEx records show that between March 2016 and July 2017, about 47 packages were mailed by the same San Francisco sender, according to the complaint.
“Yesterday’s arrests were part of ‘Operation Green Giant,’ a Strike Force investigation targeting an organization allegedly reaping millions off the sale of marijuana in New York City,” reads a statement released by DEA Special Agent-in-Charge James Hunt. “The alleged operation traversed the country with $22 million worth of marijuana sent to our city and the profit laundered back to California.”
Search warrants were executed on several apartments occupied by the defendants. During the execution of warrants, agents found three handguns, one sawed-off shotgun, ammunition, multiple kilograms of cocaine, hundreds of pounds of marijuana, and thousands of dollars in cash.
On October 14, Tabar was picked up at San Francisco International Airport wit $230,000 in cash. As stated before, each of the ten defendants faces up to life in prison over some weed, according to the Department of Justice:
Granted, it was a substantial amount of bud, weed has never killed anybody. The government must be hot over the lost taxes on the tens of millions of dollars.