Two Nevada City residents were indicted today for interstate marijuana trafficking.
A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Patricia Jane Albright, 59, and her son Jordan Robert Wirtz, 24, charging them in a conspiracy to cultivate marijuana and structure financial transactions to avoid reporting requirements, according to a U.S. Justice Department news release.
In January 2010, law enforcement officers identified Albright as a marijuana grower, according to court documents.
In early September 2010, an undercover officer posing as a marijuana broker spoke with Wirtz at one of Albright's two properties, the release states.
Wirtz told the officer that he and Albright had plenty of customers, and they regularly shipped their marijuana to Colorado using commercial shipping companies, the release states.
On Sept. 28, federal, state and local law enforcement officers executed two search warrants on properties owned or used by Albright, one in Nevada County and the other in El Dorado County. Agents seized marijuana plants and processed marijuana, the release states.
According to court documents, Albright and Wirtz engaged in complex currency transactions designed to launder the profits and avoid certain financial recordkeeping requirements.
They purchased $30,000 worth of cashiers checks and money orders with cash at multiple U.S. Postal Service locations and banks, kept the amounts less $10,000 and spaced out the purchases over several days, the release states.
The case resulted from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service's criminal investigation unit, the Drug Enforcement Administration, California Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, and the Nevada County Sheriff's Office.