A Sacramento man has been sentenced to prison for laundering proceeds from interstate marijuana sales.
U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. today sentenced Keni Renta, 29, to three years and one month in prison for structuring cash transactions from selling marijuana to avoid reporting requirements, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.
According to court documents, Renta in 2011 sold marijuana interstate, obtaining the majority of his supply from California growers. Buyers, primarily in the Midwest and Northeast, paid by making deposits into bank branches outside of California for accounts in Renta's name or that he controlled.
Renta directed the buyers to "structure" their deposits by splitting them into amounts of less than $10,000 to avoid mandatory filing of a currency transaction report. He and others under his direction then withdrew the money in amounts of less than $10,000, authorities said. From June through November 2011, at least $1.3 million was deposited in accounts and at least $942,500 of that was structured, according to the news release.
On Oct. 11, Judge England sentenced Sacramento residents Jauwon Pierre Wilder, 28, to two years in prison, and Charles Wilson 35, to 10 months in prison for their roles in the case. Wilson grew marijuana for Renta, and Wilder opened accounts for Renta's customers' deposits and structured cash out of those accounts under Renta's direction.
The case was the result of investigation by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, U.S. Postal Inspections, and the IRS Financial Crimes Task Force, which includes the California Franchise Tax Board, the Sacramento Police Department and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. Franchise Tax Board agents led the investigation team.