SAN DIEGO – A Pacific Beach man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor money laundering charge for his involvement in a lucrative marijuana distribution business that sent deliveries via the U.S. Postal Service.
Chris Gillen, 25, was arrested in May at his home in the 4900 block of La Jolla Boulevard, following a year-long investigation by the U.S. Postal Service and the Southwest Border Anti-Money Laundering Alliance’s Team ONE, which includes Chula Vista police.
Gillen’s older brother, Kyle, along with Matthew Schneider, Chris Huntsman and Mitchell Morris, all pleaded guilty to money laundering and drug counts and are scheduled to be sentenced next month.
In July 2012, the Postal Service started intercepting money packages coming back from San Diego from the East Coast, according to Deputy District Attorney Stacey McReynolds.
About 150 pounds of marijuana was sent in all and more than 400 marijuana plants were discovered at a warehouse in San Diego upon the defendants’ arrests, the prosecutor said.
She said a pound of marijuana sells for about $6,000 on the East Coast, compared with $1,500 to $2,000 in San Diego.