Pubdate: Thu, 11 Sep 2003
Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Copyright: 2003 Associated Press
Author: Dan Nephin
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Paraphernalia)
Bookmark: (Incarceration)
Bookmark: (Bush, George)
Bookmark: (Ashcroft, John)
Bookmark: (Walters, John)
Bookmark: (Chong, Tommy)


PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Tommy Chong, who played one half of the dope-smoking duo 
in the Cheech and Chong movies, was sentenced to nine months in federal 
prison and fined $20,000 Thursday for selling bongs and other drug 
paraphernalia over the Internet.

The 65-year-old was allowed to remain free until federal prison officials 
tell him in a few weeks where he must report to prison.

Chong also forfeited about $100,000 for his arrest on federal drug 
paraphernalia charges. He'll spend a year on probation after he's released 
from prison.

His Nice Dreams Enterprises, which made a line of marijuana bongs and 
pipes, was to be sentenced later Thursday. Under federal law, the business 
itself can be placed on probation or face other sanctions.

Chong pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to sell drug paraphernalia and 
pleaded guilty on behalf of Nice Dreams Enterprises, which did business 
under the name Chong Glass.

The actor's plea came after federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents 
bought his paraphernalia and had the items shipped to an undercover 
business in Beaver Falls, northwest of Pittsburgh. Agents also confiscated 
his company's paraphernalia during raids of "head shops" in several states 
and confiscated "thousands of marijuana bongs and pipes" in a raid of his 
Gardena, Calif., business.

His plea followed a series of DEA raids in February in which at least 55 
people were charged with trafficking in illegal drug paraphernalia. Federal 
officials said the investigation targeted the nation's biggest Internet 
distributors of paraphernalia.

Prosecutors said Chong was the first person to plead guilty in the raids.

Chong and Cheech Marin co-starred in several films in the late 1970s and 
early '80s, including "Nice Dreams" and "Up In Smoke." Chong recently had a 
recurring role on Fox's "That '70s Show."
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