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A tale of greed and weed

Maybe it sounded like a good idea at the end of an all-night bong party out in California.

Maybe it sounded like a way to get a leg up on the cannabis industry in Virginia, even though that’s not quite legal yet in the Old Dominion.

Maybe it was a way to get rich illegally while hiding in sort-of plain sight.

Maybe it was “extremely stupid.”

Check option D above.

Guy in San Francisco named Nathan Driver decided it would be a grand idea to ship marijuana to a friend in Richmond.

How much marijuana? Over the course of two and a half years, he sent 530 pounds. In 136 packages. That’s a quarter-ton of dope.

He’ll have some time to think about how to make better choices. On June 5, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson sentenced Driver to 35 months in prison; Driver had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana, reported the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Driver’s plan was simple. Every month, he shipped about five parcels to a friend named Jonathan Hall in Richmond. Each package weighed about 3 to 5 pounds.  The parcels were sent to post office boxes rented by actual businesses Hall set up and registered with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

Hall, who also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced next month, allegedly distributed the marijuana and put money in a bank account maintained by Driver. Nearly $400,000.

Hudson has been on the federal bench a long time and he was a U.S. Attorney before that. No doubt he has seen some seedy drug dealers in his day.

Driver is different, he noted. He has a college degree. He didn’t come from a difficult personal background. Driver’s actions, Hudson said, were “not driven by need but driven by greed.”

Which rhymes with weed.

“This was a sophisticated criminal enterprise,” the judge observed. “He’s a well-educated young man … who got involved in serious drug trafficking.”

Give the last word to Edward J. Ungvarsky, Driver’s lawyer.

“What we have here is a crime that’s extremely stupid done by someone who should have known better,” he said.

“Perhaps he was using too much of his own product.”

— Paul Fletcher