Pubdate: Thu, 08 Sep 2011 Source: Missoulian (MT) Copyright: 2011 Missoulian Contact: http://www.missoulian.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/720 Author: Gwen Florio, The Missoulian MILES CITY MEDICAL MARIJUANA GROWERS PLEAD NOT GUILTY TO CHARGES FROM RAIDS A Miles City family of medical marijuana growers pleaded not guilty Wednesday to updated federal charges stemming from coordinated raids on marijuana businesses around the state last spring. Richard Flor, 67, his wife Sherry Flor, 54, and their son Justin Flor, were arraigned via video in U.S. District Court in Missoula on 12 charges ranging from conspiracy, the manufacture and distribution of marijuana, money laundering and firearms violations. The Flors are accused of growing marijuana in their home as well as in Helena and Three Forks, and conspiring to distribute it around the state, including in Missoula, according to charging documents. The Flors, among the best-known of the people indicted by a grand jury as a result of the raids, first appeared on some of the charges in Billings in June. Their business was among 26 where federal search warrants were executed on March 14, a day when the Legislature heard testimony on whether to repeal or revise the state's voter-approved law legalizing the medical use of marijuana. The new indictment against the Flors details financial transactions, with bank deposits of thousands of dollars every several days into accounts at Wells Fargo and Valley Bank. Between Dec. 3, 2009, and April 6, 2010, $87,974 was deposited into a Wells Fargo account, according to the indictment. During that same time, 11 checks totaling $79,680 were written from that same account, with $53,780 of that deposited into the Valley Bank account, it said. The indictment specified that the Flors knew a $7,517 cash deposit into the Wells Fargo Account "represented the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity." Federal Magistrate Jeremiah Lynch outlined the penalties on those charges, with mandatory minimum terms of five years in prison and a maximum term of life in prison on charges of possession of firearms during a drug-trafficking offense. Fines could range up to $2 million, he said. The indictment lists 29 firearms confiscated during the raids, including five semiautomatic pistols, two pistols, four revolvers, six shotguns, eight rifles and four semiautomatic rifles. Some of the guns had no serial numbers. The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of all the weapons, four vehicles, and more than $1.7 million. All three Flors denied the forfeiture moves Wednesday. Although the Flors maintain their business complied with the state's marijuana law, federal prosecutors have moved to ban any mention of that during their trials. A hearing on that motion is set for Sept. 15 in Helena. - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.