Big Piney Tomato Grower Charged With Raising Pot, Laundering Money
A Big Piney man in the tomato business pleaded not guilty to growing and distributing marijuana and to money laundering in federal court on Monday.
Stewart Doty, 61, entered his pleas during his initial appearance and arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Shickich.
Doty, who was accompanied by his attorney Ian Sandefer, is free on $2,500 bond. His trial has been set for Oct. 9 in Casper.
The case began Aug. 25, 2017, when agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Sublette County Sheriff's Office and other agencies executed a search warrant at Doty's business Wyoming Tomatoes, LLC, or Wyomatoes.
They found and seized about 50 pounds of suspected marijuana and equipment used to dry, package and weigh the plant, according to a criminal complaint dated May 31.
When law enforcement officers were searching his property, Doty arrived and admitted he had been growing marijuana in one of the greenhouses and distributing it outside Wyoming. He said his last grow began in January 2017.
Doty also showed officers where he had about 300 dried marijuana stalks and root balls.
When asked where he had been, Doty told a sheriff's deputy that information would incriminate him. The detective obtained another search warrant, searched Doty's van and seized $63,117 in two grocery bags.
The criminal complaint only charged him with manufacturing, distribution and possession with intent to manufacture and distribute marijuana.
But the indictment handed up by the grand jury on July 19 added one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of money laundering.
The conspiracy count alleges Doty and at least one other person conspired to conceal and disguise the nature and source of illegal drug proceeds by depositing $6,000 in cash in a Wyomatoes account in a bank in Lone Tree, Colo., on June 5, 2017.
The money laundering count alleges Doty did the same thing -- disguising the nature and source of the proceeds -- by depositing $35,020 in an account in a bank on Aug. 1, 2017. The indictment did not state where that bank is located.