Gregory Krzanowski of Southampton fined, placed on probation for ‘elaborate marijuana grow operation’
SPRINGFIELD — A Southampton man police said operated an “elaborate marijuana grow operation” out of an apartment in Easthampton was placed on probation but avoided prison time when he was sentenced in federal court Monday.
U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor sentenced Gregory A. Krzanowski, 39, to three years probation as part of a plea agreement that also requires him to pay $302,900 and give up an unlicensed .22-caliber rifle.
On Sept. 11, Krzanowski pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and three counts of money laundering as part of a deal he reached with the U.S. attorney’s office following his Aug. 2, 2011, arrest. Krzanowski waived his right to a trial and agreed to plea guilty.
He declined to speak during the brief sentencing, but his attorney, David P. Hoose of Northampton, told the judge his client is a single father who has lost his house and car and is now working hard to pay off debts, including a $300,000 forfeiture as part of the plea deal.
“He’s a very nice guy who made a mistake,” Hoose said while leaving the federal courthouse. “I’m sure he’ll never be seen in a courtroom in Massachusetts again.”
On Aug. 2, 2011, local police used federal search warrants to search a third-floor apartment at 20 Florence Road and at the home at 23 Katelyn Way in Southampton where Krzanowski then lived. That came after several months of investigations that involved the Easthampton and Southampton police departments, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS Criminal Investigations, and the State Police Hampshire County Narcotics Unit.
Police seized about 97 marijuana plants, five pounds of marijuana packaged for distribution and the rifle at the apartment. They found another four pounds of marijuana at the home in Southampton. Easthampton police at the time said the total value of the items seized was approximately $150,000.
Krzanowski was initially charged by the state with cultivation of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm without an identification card. When the U.S. attorney’s office took over the case, it charged him instead with the four felonies for which he was sentenced for Monday — marijuana possession with intent to distribute and three counts of money laundering.
The money laundering charges resulted from three instances between August and December 2009 when Krzanowski deposited $16,000 in cash — which authorities say he obtained from selling marijuana — into a bank account in the name of East Coast Custom Homes in an attempt to disguise his drug business, according to court documents.
In addition to placing Krzanowski on probation for three years, during which time he must avoid narcotics and submit to random drug testing, the plea agreement required Krzanowski to pay $300,000 to the U.S. government, which he did on Nov. 15. According to the U.S. attorney’s office, that reflected the proceeds of his illegal business.
The deal also required him to pay a $400 fee to the federal court and a $5,000 fine. Hoose asked Ponsor to waive the $5,000 fine because of the “large amount of forfeiture” Krzanowski already paid, and Ponsor reduced it to $2,500.
Ponsor made a point of inquiring about Krzanowski’s sneaker collection, which court documents stated was valued at $10,000. Hoose said he still has the collection.
Hoose said the fine would mean additional hardship for his client, who may owe additional taxes to the IRS and is trying to pay off about $54,000 in debt. Hoose said Krzanowski is working as an independent home builder and for the home building company of his mother and stepfather, Patricia and James Boyle.
The plea agreement also stated that the U.S. attorney’s office would agree not to charge James or Patricia Boyle “based on conduct underlying the crimes charged in this case.” They are the owners of the third-floor apartment at 20 Florence Road where Krzanowski grew marijuana, according to state land records.
Rebecca Everett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.