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Coast-to-coast marijuana dealer from Pittsfield pleads guilty to conspiracy

MassLive.com logo MassLive.com 10/25/2021 Stephanie Barry, masslive.com

SPRINGFIELD — A Pittsfield man pleaded guilty Monday to his role in a $1 million coast-to-coast marijuana distribution ring.

Anthony “Tony the Whale” Carnute faces up to four years in prison after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Springfield to one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and one count of possession with intent to distribute the drug.

While marijuana is “fully illegal” only in four states, the drug remains illegal under federal law. In Massachusetts, recreational marijuana has been legalized for users 21 and older since 2016 — when federal agents began investigating Carnute, coincidentally.

Carnute gained his nickname not because of any physical attributes, but because of the amount of pot he sold in Western Massachusetts, witnesses told investigators. He admitted arranging to ship hundreds of packages of marijuana from a source in California, which would be received by ”couriers” who worked for Carnute from Berkshire County to Boston.

One of the couriers was caught on surveillance by law enforcement carting the goods around Pittsfield on a bicycle with the drugs in a chicken feed bag slung over his shoulder, court records say.

Carnute told U.S. District Judge Mark Mastroianni he also sent couriers with cash to pay his West Coast source for the merchandise. Carnute then sold the product to “consumers and retailers downstream,” according to assistant U.S. attorney Christopher Looney.

Carnute is scheduled for sentencing on Feb. 28.

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