Top MMA Ref Plead Guilty To Growing 1,356 Pot Plants After Originally Saying He Didn’t
April 18 / Eric Goldschein / SportsGrid
MMA referee Josh Rosenthal is something of a legend in the MMA game, if someone who "referees" people beating the shit out of each other can become a legend. He's well-known in those circles, at least. But he probably won't see the ring for, oh, about 37 months after pleading guilty to "to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute." The evidence: 1,356 pot plants. Yeah, that plea sounds accurate.
A warehouse owned by Rosenthal and an associate was raided by federal officials last year. That's when the 1,356 pot plants were discovered.
Rosenthal initially pleaded not guilty to the charges in October, but changed his tune in January as part of a plea agreement.
Under terms of the deal, prosecutors are recommending 37 months in jail, fines and five years of probation, during which he would be subject to random searches. Without the plea, Rosenthal faced 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and a minimum of five years probation.
Rosenthal is scheduled for sentencing May 17.
How he thought he'd get away with saying he wasn't going to sell some of his 1,356 pot plants is perplexing. Tough to beat those charges any other way besides a plea deal.
That being said, a $10 million fine if he'd gone to trial? They say the weed he grew was only worth about $6 million. What was he supposed to do -- raise the extra cash by selling some weed?