Boston Man Pleads Guilty to Marijuana and Tax Offenses

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BOSTON – A Boston man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Springfield to marijuana and tax offenses. 

Zachary Sweener, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, one count of filing a false tax return and two counts of failing to file tax returns. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Oct. 28, 2021. 

Sweener admitted that from 2014 to 2017, he conspired with others to distribute marijuana. On Jan. 10, 2017, a search of Sweener’s residence recovered 1,000 marijuana vape oil pens and over $90,000 in cash, two gold bars and other luxury items. Sweener also admitted that he filed a false income tax return for 2013 by substantially under-reporting his income and failed to file tax returns for tax years 2014 and 2015, despite earning over $250,000 in each of those years. For tax years 2013 through 2015, Sweener failed to report over $625,000 in income and therefore failed to pay over $150,000 in federal income taxes. 

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The charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana each provide for a sentence of up to five years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 and forfeiture. The charge of filing a false tax return provides for a sentence of up to three years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  The charge of failing to file a tax return provides for up to one year in prison, one year of supervised release and a $100,000 fine. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

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Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division; Ramsey E. Covington, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; William S. Walker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex J. Grant of Mendell’s Springfield Branch Office and Trial Attorney Christopher O’Donnell of the Justice Department’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case. 

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