Former SLT pot club owner sentenced to 5 years in prison

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Updated: 4/10/2013 6:08 pm
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KRNV & -- United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Gennaro DiMatteo, 43, of South Lake Tahoe, California, was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison today.

DiMatteo had previously pled guilty to a felony for marijuana trafficking on Jan. 9, 2013. As part of his plea agreement, DiMatteo agreed to forfeit more than $40,000 to the United States.

Wagner says during a search of DiMatteo’s South Lake Tahoe residence, agents discovered a hidden door that led to several sub-surface rooms. The rooms had been set up with indoor marijuana growing equipment.

Detectives discovered approximately five pounds of processed marijuana in one of the rooms, according to Wagner. In the downstairs/basement area, detectives found a scale.

These items gave reason to believe DiMatteo was heat sealing marijuana after weighing out distribution quantities and shipping them out of state. The heat sealing of the marijuana can have the effect of concealing and disguising the odor from marijuana.

In total, Wagner says detectives seized approximately five pounds of processed marijuana and 15 pounds of marijuana “shake,” meaning residual marijuana used for cooking marijuana edibles. Inside a freezer within DiMatteo’s detached garage, Wagner says detectives found marijuana-laced ice cream, granola bars, and pizzas.

During questioning, DiMatteo admitted that he is not a user of marijuana.

Within a desk inside the kitchen area, as well as inside a desk in the living room area of DiMatteo’s residence, detectives found pay/owe sheets. Wagner says DiMatteo had notes setting the price of the marijuana sold at a South Lake Tahoe marijuana dispensary known as “City of Angels II.” On a separate set of documents, DiMatteo listed the various amounts paid.

DiMatteo lists himself receiving $7,000 bi-weekly. As part of his Plea Agreement, Wagner says DiMatteo admitted that he possessed the marijuana seized from his residence on August 31, 2012, with an intent to distribute it to others.

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