Oregon-grown Marijuana Smugglers Sentenced

Marijuana is legal in Oregon but still has not been made legal for recreational use by the federal government. Crossing state lines, even if both states are legal pot states, is still a federal crime. The federal government misclassified pot but the politics are slowly changing the Fed’s stance on weed. Lawmakers are talking of passing federal legislation to decriminalize and maybe legalize marijuana. But, pot is still illegal federally. A Portland man who helped smuggle more than $2.5 million worth of Oregon-grown marijuana out of the state had to find this out the hard way. 

The industrious man smuggled marijuana in hand-built freight crates. He was recently sentenced last Monday to two years and nine months in federal prison. Robert Benjamin Kawika Dawe, 39, had the help of two other men. They shipped more than 1,000 kilos of pot to Ohio, New York, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, Illinois and Minnesota. 

The pot sellers flew to those cities to receive their shipments. They did this in an effort to cover their tracks. They were now ready to sell weed in those states. One man even used his own home as a temp warehouse.

It all came to a head on October 16, 2020 when police stopped two vehicles and searched the trailer. Two crates containing 12 cardboard boxes carrying 276 kilograms of vacuum-sealed marijuana on it’s way to San Antonio, Texas. Seven thousand in cash was also seized. 

Dawe entered a plea of guilty in November to conspiracy to traffic in marijuana. The defense lawyer Kevin M. Sali worked to get Dawe a lesser sentence than the one he received. Dawe said that he was now in drug treatment. Dawe’s co-d Jeremiah David Cruz was also sentenced in February to a year and nine months in prison. Co-defendant Kyle Cerkoney is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty.