COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Federal prosecutors are wrapping up their case against 11 men charged with cultivating thousands of marijuana plants in what the state's former top cop called evidence of cartel-sponsored operations taking root in Ohio.
All 11 have pleaded guilty and seven have received sentences ranging from a year to 18 months in prison. U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose was scheduled to sentence three more defendants Friday in Dayton, with a final sentencing Aug. 17.
Defense attorneys say the defendants were poor day laborers trying to earn money for their families with no idea about what they were being hired to do. The September arrests came after a tip from hunters led authorities to thousands of marijuana plants in Muskingum and Logan counties.