Marijuana Grow Operator Sentenced to Prison
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 14, 2012|
ANCHORAGE—U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that Corey Gresham was sentenced in federal court for operating a marijuana growing operation out of a rented Wasilla residence.
On April 20, 2012, an Anchorage federal jury convicted Gresham of drug conspiracy and manufacturing marijuana. In addition, the jury directed Gresham to forfeit seized cash, a handgun, and a 2005 BMW used to facilitate and commit his drug trafficking offenses.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess sentenced Gresham, 31, to five years in prison. Gresham’s co-conspirator, Malcolm Elliot Brooks, was previously also sentenced to five years in prison. A third indicted co-conspirator awaits trial.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle G. French, on October 26, 2010, members of law enforcement observed Gresham and Brooks visit businesses which sell carbon dioxide, high-intensity lighting systems, chemicals, and other materials used by marijuana manufacturers to improve the yield of marijuana plants grown indoors. Law enforcement officers followed Gresham and Brooks from the businesses to a rented single-family residence located at 1100 Fairview Loop, Wasilla, Alaska. On two dates in November 2010, officers conducted surveillance operations at the residence. On both occasions, an officer smelled the odor of cultivated marijuana emanating from the residence. On the basis of all these observations and other corroborating information, law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant for the residence.
On November 31, 2010, members of law enforcement executed the warrant and seized from the residence 190 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, extensive marijuana cultivation materials, distribution paraphernalia, $2,064 cash, and two loaded firearms. Gresham was at the residence when law enforcement executed the search warrant. The residence also contained large carbon dioxide cylinders, high-intensity lighting systems, chemicals, a plant growth ledger, and a sophisticated air circulation system used in a room dedicated to manufacturing marijuana.
Ms. Loeffler commended the Federal Bureau of Investigations Safe Streets Task Force, comprised of FBI agents and officers from the Anchorage Police Department, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Gresham. Former AUSA Craig Warner represented the United States during Gresham’s trial and obtained the jury’s guilty verdicts.