Guilty plea expected from huge pot bust

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Kevin Murphy
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
— An East Troy man has agreed to plead guilty in federal court to possessing with the intent to distribute between 220 and 440 pounds of marijuana.

According to court documents filed Monday:

Authorities arrested Jeffrey E. Scholz, 34, on Sept. 22. At that time, Scholz told police that in 2008-09 he received six to eight loads of marijuana annually from his Northern California supplier, with each load averaging 40 pounds.

Scholz said 2010 was slower as he had received only four loads before being arrested.

Scholz, a professional poker player, lived in Washington County and sold marijuana in southeast Wisconsin until moving to East Troy near Lake Beulah in July 2010. By then, he already was under surveillance, and his 2007 Cadillac Escalade was regularly parked at his home on Stringers Bridge Road.

Working with one of Scholz's customers, law enforcement set up a Sept. 10 buy where Scholz delivered 22 pounds of pot to the Butler Inn near Milwaukee. The marijuana arrived in vacuum-sealed packages, marked with colored dots to indicate varying degrees of quality.

Although the customer owed Scholz about $20,000 for previous purchases, the amount was not mentioned. Scholtz did, however, say he expected to be paid $83,600 within 10 to 14 days for the new delivery.

While Scholz was inside the Butler Inn delivering the marijuana, agents attached a global positioning device to his Escalade. The device indicated Scholz returned directly to his East Troy residence.

During a search of Scholz's home Sept. 22, authorities found $65,000 cash, heat-sealing equipment and bags with marijuana residue on them.

Scholz agreed to cooperate and told authorities about his Northern California marijuana supplier, whom he said he paid $3,700 for each pound for marijuana.

On Sept. 24, authorities arrested Ricky Alan Hall, 56, of Zenia, Calif., when he arrived at Scholz's residence with 24 pounds of marijuana.

No date has been set for Scholz's plea hearing. If convicted, he faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years to life in prison. However, penalties under advisory guidelines are less severe.

Scholz's attorney, Michael Levine of Milwaukee, offered no comment on the case Tuesday.

Last updated: 5:20 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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