‘Jet-setting’ York County man pleads guilty to marijuana felony

Posted April 27, 2013, at 2:25 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The York County man a prosecutor said spent a year “jet-setting around the Caribbean and Central America” spending money he earned selling large amounts of marijuana is behind bars after pleading guilty to a federal drug charge.

James A. Sweeney, 27, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, according to information in the court’s Electronic Case Filing system.

A sentencing date has not been set.

U.S. District Judge John Woodcock ordered that Sweeney be held without bail pending the outcome of his case. Sweeney had been free on $10,000 unsecured bail.

He returned to the U.S. last summer after learning a warrant had been issued for his arrest in August 2011, according to a previously published report.

Sweeney, who was arrested June 4 in Texas, came to the attention of law enforcement when a man, identified only by the initials C.S., was stopped on June 28, 2011, for a traffic violation on Interstate 44 in southwest Missouri, according to the affidavit filed last August in federal court.

Sweeney was indicted June 13, 2012, by a federal grand jury in Bangor on the charge to which he pleaded guilty.

The Missouri traffic stop last year led to the arrest of Gerald Rich Jr., 48, of Frankfort, Maine, and Mark Wolosko, 47, of Kennebunkport after 375 pounds of marijuana was found in a 31-foot 2004 Coachman Freedom recreational vehicle owned by Rich. By pleading guilty, Sweeney admitted being part of the conspiracy to transport hundreds of pounds of marijuana from Arizona to Maine.

Rich and Wolosko waived indictment and pleaded guilty in November to the same drug conspiracy charge to which Sweeney pleaded guilty. Rich also pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a federal law enforcement officer.

The two have been held without bail since entering their guilty pleas last year. Wolosko is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in Bangor on May 28. Rich’s sentencing date has not been set.

All three men faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison, plus a fine of up to $2 million on the drug conspiracy charge.

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