Chi Meng Yang, 36, was found guilty of bribery of a public official, conspiracy to commit bribery and manufacturing more than 100 marijuana plants.
The Northern California man from the town of Montague could face decades in federal prison for these convictions, according to KPIX 5.
In 2017, Yang and his sister Gaoshen Laitinen attempted to bribe former Sheriff Jon Lopey not to enforce the county’s ordinance banning outdoor marijuana grows, prosecutors said. In That first meeting, Yang offered $1 million to the charity of the sheriff’s choice, prosecutors said.
Following the first meeting, Lopey called the FBI and the FBI was able to document all the meetings that occurred between Lopey and Yang. The bribery efforts lasted four months and Yang and Lopey met a total of seven times, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office press release.
During these meetings, Yang offered Lopey $5000 per parcel for “protection” and $5000 per parcel as donations for the sheriff’s re-election campaign, according to Redding Record Searchlight.
The prosecutor also mentioned that Yang asked for additional personal favors to the sheriff, including asking for help with a family member’s DUI arrest or asking to send violation notices to other marajuana growers to join the protection racket.
THe FBI agents arrested Yang at Lopey’s office on Aug. 31, 2017. The federal agents searched and eradicated 1,168 marijuana plants from Yang’s properties.
Yang is scheduled to be sentenced on June 28, 2022 by the U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez.
Laitinen pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bribery and manufacturing marijuana a week before the trial was to begin. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 23, 2022.
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