A Nevada City man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Sacramento to involvement in a marijuana and money laundering operation.
Charles Miller Hilkey Jr., 58, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller to conspiring with others to cultivate marijuana and to structuring financial transactions to avoid federal reporting, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.
According to court documents, Hilkey was the leader of a significant marijuana growing operation. The marijuana grown on multiple properties that he controlled was ostensibly for medical purposes. Officials said Hilkey and his confederates structured various financial transactions with some of the money they made selling marijuana to avoid financial reporting requirements under federal law. Hilkey structured at least $859,000 in transactions with one or more financial institutions, usually post offices in Nevada County.
Between 2006 and 2009, Hilkey also amassed a significant amount of real property, which is being forfeited to the federal government as a result of his marijuana-related activities, officials said.
Hilkey is to be sentenced June 12.
The case resulted from an investigation by the IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the California Department of Justice and the Nevada County Sheriff's Department.