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Hudson man gets prison

$1.5M in pot proceeds laundered in trafficking ring

By TIM TROGLEN Hudson Hub Times Published: June 9, 2017 10:54 PM

A 35-year-old Grammy-nominated Hudson man was sentenced to almost six years in prison June 5 for laundering approximately $1.5 million in proceeds from marijuana trafficking, according to acting U.S. Attorney David A. Sierleja.

Stuart Pflaum was one of nine people indicted in federal court in 2015 for their roles in a conspiracy to ship marijuana from California to Ohio, then launder the drug proceeds and send the money back to California, according to Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Pflaum's attorney, Donald Butler, did not immediately return calls for comment.

Pflaum, of Southwicke Court, was arrested at his home by the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force and charged with conspiracy to launder money.

Pflaum was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2008 for Best Rap Song for Soulja Boy's "Crank That."

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Eight people have been sentenced in relation to the conspiracy.

James Sorgi, formerly of Hudson, operated a drug trafficking and money laundering organization that shipped marijuana from California to Cleveland and grew the marijuana in California and obtained marijuana from other growers, according to court documents. Sorgi then worked with Pflaum and Robert Serina to direct others to receive multi-pound shipments of marijuana in Ohio and sell it there, documents state.

Pflaum, Sorgi, Serina and others directed people to collect the drug proceeds and make cash deposits into various bank accounts, court records say. Sorgi, through Pflaum and Serina, then directed people to convert the cash into money orders and send the money to California, according to the indictment.

This took place between June 2013 and February 2015, according to court documents.

Sorgi was sentenced to 80 months in prison.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret Sweeney and Michelle Baeppler following an investigation by the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The NOLETF is a task force comprised of investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cleveland Division of Police, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the police departments of Cleveland Heights, Euclid, Lakewood, the Regional Transit Authority, Westlake and Shaker Heights. The NOLETF is also one of the initial Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area initiatives, which supports and helps coordinate numerous Ohio drug task forces in their efforts to eliminate or reduce drug trafficking in Ohio.


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