Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Eleven face charges in marijuana-linked money laundering scheme

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Federal prosecutors say a group of people worked together to launder more than $2 million in drug money from shipping a ton of marijuana from California to warehouses in Lake and Cuyahoga counties.

Those charged include:

  • Aaron Eisenberg, 39, of California and formerly of Lake County.
  • Jack Morgan, 53, of California.
  • Jacob Lesiak, 40, of Chardon. Margaret Garcia, 40, of Chardon.
  • Gary Baldwin, 43, of Huntsburg.
  • Trevor Marlyne, 32, of Cleveland Heights.
  • Robert Ross, 47, of Florida.
  • Brian Teachout, 38, of Mentor.
  • Richard Warren, 43, of Willoughby.

Prosecutors say Eisenberg, Morgan and others used Specialized Transportation Inc., a freight company, to send pallets with packages of marijuana from California to warehouses on Anderson Drive in Wickliffe, Airport Parkway in Willoughby and Tungsten Road in Euclid.

The operation began in 2014 and involved Lesiak, Garcia, Baldwin, Warren and others receiving the packages of marijuana in Ohio, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Lesiak, Teachout, Warren, Marlyne and Ross then sold the marijuana throughout Northeast Ohio, prosecutors say.

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Many of the conspirators pooled their proceeds and sent them back to Eisenberg and Morgan in California on pallets through the same freight company. The pallets were intentionally mislabeled, saying they contained computer parts or had the names of companies that did not exist, officials say.

All nine are charged with money laundering conspiracy, with several defendants face charges for possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Teachout, who has a previous conviction for marijuana trafficking, also faces a charge of being a felon in possession of firearm.

Two others, Corrie Lesiak, 40, of Chardon, and Cynthia Hounshell, 61, of Concord, also face money laundering charges.

The indictment was filed Aug. 29 but was unsealed Wednesday following the arrest of several defendants.

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The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko.

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