MMA Referee Josh Rosenthal Sentenced to 37 Months in Federal Prison on Drug Charges

July 2, 2013
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Josh Rosenthal UFC 119Noted mixed martial arts referee Josh Rosenthal has been sentenced to 37 months in federal prison.

Rosenthal pled guilty to felony charges of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana. Senior District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong at the U.S. District Court in Northern California handed down Rosenthal’s sentencing on Tuesday, according to an report. confirmed the report with U.S. District Court officials.

The 37-month federal prison sentence was mandatory with no possibility of parole. In addition to the prison sentence, Rosenthal also received a three-year supervised release and was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment fee, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. District Court office.

The charges stem from a raid by federal agents on a warehouse owned by Rosenthal and his associate, Jeff Weller. The two were accused of operating a large-scale marijuana production and distribution facility in Oakland, Calif.

The facility housed more than 1,000 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of more then $6 million.

Rosenthal has refereed fights at the highest level of the sport, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but had, until recently, been absent from the sport since reports of the charges against him surfaced.

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  • El Gvapo

    Ouch, that $100 special assessment fee has gotta sting. And a street value of $6 million?!? Not sure how much you boys pay for your green in the US but he must have been getting a hell of a yield from his plants.

  • insane187288

    And Diaz lost his connection… sad times

  • Milosc

    We’re still living in the dark ages, gents…

    Who was the ‘victim’, here, the tobacco industry? The charges against Rosenthal might as well be “witchcraft”

    (Rosa Parks went to jail for riding a bus. Time heals all bs)

    *Google: “Sanders, Fed audit” for an ‘actual’ crime with 16 T-T-TRILLION in damages and at least 300 million victims. Nobody went to jail a single day

  • dgs

    This has nothing to do with fighting crime (just like red light cameras have nothing to do with preventing accidents, conversely, they cause more than they prevent), and everything to do with $$$. The federal prison lobby is powerful, and they have, and will continue to do everything in their power to criminalize drugs so they can keep their prisons full. Full prisons are a wonderful excuse for more federal $$$!

    The light at the end of the tunnel is here though, as I know in my lifetime marijuana will be legalized (I’ll get another 40 or so years out of this body, and 40 years is plenty of time to see legalization become a reality). The first step was for a couple of brave states to legalize it for recreational use. Once those states start reporting budget surpluses instead of deficits, the federal govt. will finally relent, because they will naturally want some of that green profit for themselves via taxes.

    There is only one language American politicians speak, and that is the language of $$$.

  • Cptmats

    No Offence to Americans, I love the people but your counrty is a JOKE !
    You can purchase and carry hand guns and assault rifles but you go to jail for weed. Pathetic !

    • bajafox

      The War on Drugs is one of the biggest money makers for the US government.

      • yesyoumay .

        For a long time most of the money made was channeled right back into the drug enforcement branches of law enforcement, so it didn’t even make it to the government proper!

    • fsunoles10

      the only countries i can think of where its legal is north korea and cambodia bud so you might want to complain about every other countries marijuana laws including your own of course that is if you dont live in north korea or cambodia

      • dan

        do your homework about the legal status of weed around the world. there are several places where it’s either legal or decriminalized to the point where it may as well be legal (i.e. Holland, Portugal, etc.)

        • fsunoles10

          decriminalized and legal are completely different things bud, you still need a permit and you’re still subject to fines. its not legal in holland or portugal bud, you may want to do a bit of homework. btw im all for marijuana but im just stating the facts here.

      • acjitsu

        Why don’t you have a look at the drug laws in Portugal. See what happened there.

        • fsunoles10

          hah what exactly is different from other countries who have decriminalized marijuana? its still illegal for recreational use.

      • Cptmats

        I live in Canada dumb ass. I don’t have american NAZI drug laws here !

        • fsunoles10

          check your laws bud, its still illegal.

          • Cptmats

            #1 I’m not your bud
            #2 It’s about as illegal as Jay walking !
            In a Canadian court Josh Rosenthal would have gotten a fine ! Nazi America jailed him for three years………FOR A PLANT !

        • Benja989

          Oh you live in the Northern United States Territory. Sweet.

          • Cptmats

            No you live in the land we allowed you to have back when Canada kicked your ass in 1812… know …when we burned the white house !

      • yesyoumay .

        Wrong my friend and you’re getting wronger as the time passes!

  • DamianCross

    One day, all drugs will be legal and it’ll save our nation’s economy and blah blah blah. Until then, maybe don’t run an illegal multi-million dollar drug production operation when you’re a state employee who is on television all the time?

  • diazfan209

    1,000 plants is a lot…. honestly, how do you have a warehouse filled with that many illegal plants & not expect to get caught. Anyone here in California can do this medically without exceeding their legal plant allotment and still make a healthy living. Rosenthal clearly wanted to be filthy rich.

    Cannabis should be completely legal though. it’s almost blatantly obvious how corrupt government is by keeping it illegal. Think about all of the pharmaceuticals no longer needed, replacing industrial synthetic manufactured products, agricultural and employment booms, and people having an overall calmer and happier outlook on life…..

    • Cptmats

      1000 plants is not really that much for a ware house grow !

      • Dan Eagen

        If they were 1000 flowering plants, that’s a LOT. It also depends how tall and bushy they allowed them to get. 1000 6 footers isn’t the same as 1000 24 inchers in a hydro setup.

        • Dan Eagen

          And yes, I realize I just commented on an article that is 3 years old. I just figure he should be getting out by now so it’s somewhat relevant.

    • Aaron Gustaveson

      Yes and no, a lot of the more popular strains now, like og, grow best in a sea-of-green style and that means big plant numbers, Still a 1000 plants (assuming that they didn’t count a bunch of clones, which they probably did) thats a 100 light grow. Its def big for so-cal, I live in humboldt, heres it is till big but I see them often enough. Im an electrician.

  • garrett

    damn Josh reffed my title fight… XD didn’t think he smoked I would of smoked with him lol

  • brad king

    somebody please start a “free JOSH ROSENTHAL” group!

  • Guest

    This is pure bullschitt. The government should just admit they are punishing him for tax evasion. This country is being led by a baboon and run by robots. When will the insanity of putting people in prison with killers and rapists for pot stop!?!

    • yesyoumay .

      I agree about the sentence but to blame it all on the president is unjustified. These bad laws have been in place for quite awhile and are being changed but the process is slow. Ever hear the word “independent judiciary”? Unfortunately, Rosenthat got caught in the middle like a lot of others!

  • yesyoumay .

    I’d say that is a bit harsh for the crime!

  • tracie

    elect nick diaz president.