A Humboldt County man was sentenced in federal court in Oakland this week to six years in federal prison after being convicted of cultivating and manufacturing marijuana and conspiring to launder money, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.Federal prosecutors say 29-year-old Jordan Pyhtila of Rio Dell pleaded guilty to those two charges on May 27, admitting that he bought and maintained property in Humboldt County for the purpose of cultivating marijuana. The U.S. Attorney’s office said about 4,677 marijuana plants, amounting to approximately 467 kilograms of marijuana, were grown on Pyhtila’s property.According to his plea agreement, from 1999 through September 2008, Pyhtila also bought or maintained other pieces of property for the purpose of allowing others to manufacture marijuana.Prosecutors say Pyhtila financed many of the marijuana-growing operations by providing funding for equipment, building materials, marijuana clones, fertilizer, wages for laborers and other expenses. They say he also received a portion of the profits from the sale of marijuana grown on those properties.In addition, the plea agreement says that from 1999 through September 2008 Pyhtila agreed to use the net profits from marijuana cultivation to fund the operations of his business, J&J Earthmoving, and to buy numerous properties throughout Northern California. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the purchases of the properties were made to conceal the net profits earned from financing the cultivation of marijuana. Nominee owners were used to hide the true ownership interest in the properties.As part of his plea agreement, Pyhtila agreed to forfeit interest in real property and his interest in a promissory note, in the amount of $945,000, that was obtained from the sale of a subdivision that he was developing in Rio Dell.Pyhtila was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland on Wednesday. After he completes his six-year term, he will be on supervised release for another three years.The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Phytila’s co-defendant, Jessie Jeffries, of Garberville, Calif., was sentenced on Oct. 28, to six years in prison on the same charges.The prosecution resulted from an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation by the criminal division of the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office and Drug Task Force.
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