A Las Vegas man has been sentenced to prison time after he pleaded guilty to marijuana and money laundering charges stemming from a four-and-a-half year scheme involving co-conspirators in Utica, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Northern New York.
On April 15, 2016, 37-year-old Anthony Wills of Las Vegas, Nevada pleaded guilty to conspiring with a Utica resident and others to possessing and distributing 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, which ocurred between January 2011 and August 2015. As part of his guilty plea, Wills admitted he was personally responsible for more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, but less than 400 kiligrams.
Officials say Wills and his co-conspirators frequently got marijuana from different supply sources in California and shipped it to different parts of the U.S., including the Utica area.
To pay for the marijuana that was shipped to Wills’ co-conspirators in Utica, they made cash deposits into various bank accounts and the funds were then immediately withdrawn in Las Vegas by Wills or other people working as part of the conspiracy at his direction. Officials say co-conspirators in Utica also mailed cash or blank money orders to Wills to pay for the marijuana, which Wills then used to purchase more marijuana from suppliers in Northern California.
Wills’ guilty plea included admitting that because of his part in the conspiracy, he was personally responsible for laundering $1,274,310 in drug proceeds.
Wills will serve five years and 10 months in prison, followed by four years of post-release supervision. He’s also been ordered to pay a money judgement of $1,274,310.