Former organic food company co-owner gets 4½ years for dealing pot

Posted Dec. 13, 2011, at 10:42 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 27, 2012, at 2:11 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The former co-owner of an organic food company in Maine has been sentenced to 4½ years in federal prison for dealing marijuana.

Seth Leaf Pruzansky of Durham was also ordered Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to forfeit $147,000, a BMW, a Ford F-150, a silver collection and an under-construction half-million dollar home that prosecutors say was financed with drug proceeds.

The 36-year-old Pruzansky pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

He was found with two duffel bags containing 64 pounds of marijuana when he was arrested by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in September 2010.

Pruzansky co-founded the organic snack food company Living Nutz with his brother in 2002.

The company’s profile on the The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s website also noted that the brothers and their parents created the Maine Intellihemp Co., a natural hemp cosmetics line, in 1998.

Pruzansky expressed shame and remorse in court. In addition to prison time, he was sentenced to four years of supervised release after incarceration.

His conviction is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the Maine State Police, the Portland Police Department and the ongoing effort of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, a partnership involving federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

The partnership’s mission is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

BDN writer Dawn Gagnon and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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