A 31-year-old man was convicted Thursday in Santa Rosa of money laundering from the discovery of $47,000 in cash with marijuana growing records in his car last October, prosecutors said. A jury found William David Bush, of Sebastopol, guilty of felony money laundering and a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license after a four-day trial in Sonoma County Superior Court, Assistant District Attorney Christine Cook said.
On Oct. 12, 2012, a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy stopped Bush for speeding in Santa Rosa and learned that his California driver’s license had been suspended, according to Cook. Bush had first handed the deputy a cancelled Arizona driver’s license for identification, Cook said. The deputy noticed an overwhelming smell of raw, processed marijuana coming from Bush’s hands and within the vehicle, Cook said.
In the trunk, the deputy located $47,000 in various denominations of currency in a heat-sealed, 4-foot plastic bag, Cook said. According to prosecutors, Bush also had a notepad in the vehicle mentioning fertilizers, root starters, different strains of marijuana plants, amounts of the drug in pounds and receipts for growing materials. Bush offered a number of explanations for the money, including that he owned an ATM business in Mexico, that it was his life savings and that his mother gave it to him, Cook said.
Prosecutors said that the defendant never provided evidence that he was involved in growing medicinal marijuana. Bush’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 24. He faces up to three years in prison, Cook said.
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