SEATTLE – SEATTLE (AP) — After a yearslong battle to avoid extradition, Canada's so-called Prince of Pot was brought Thursday to Seattle, where he is expected to plead guilty to a charge that he sold millions of marijuana seeds to U.S. customers.
Canada's justice minister signed off on Marc Emery's extradition to the United States on May 10. Emery was scheduled to make an initial appearance Thursday afternoon before pleading guilty on Monday.
Emery, 51, of Vancouver, British Columbia, claimed to have made $3 million a year before his arrest in 2005, when a grand jury in Seattle indicted him on marijuana conspiracy charges.
His attorney, Richard Troberman, said Emery will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana in exchange for an agreed sentence of five years in prison.
To drug officials, Emery was a pariah whose pot seeds were used in illegal marijuana grows across the United States.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said his seeds have been traced to grow operations in Indiana, Florida, California, Tennessee, Montana, Virginia, Michigan, New Jersey and North Dakota.
But his supporters view him as a crusader for the use and sale of the drug for both its recreational and medicinal value. They accused the U.S. of launching a politically motivated prosecution to silence a prominent drug-war opponent, and said they were stunned when Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson agreed to extradite Emery.
Emery's wife, Jodie Emery, led a protest march Thursday through downtown Vancouver with about 60 people who waved marijuana-leaf flags and shouted, "Free Marc Emery!"
Emery's Canadian lawyer, Kirk Tousaw, said he planned to ask U.S. authorities to let his client serve his time in a Canadian jail under treaty agreements.
"It's a dark day for Canada," he said. "Now the fight begins to bring him home."
Two employees of Emery's cannabis shop, Emery Seeds, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle last year to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. They admitted helping take and fill seed orders and were sentenced to probation.
Associated Press writer Jeremy Hainsworth contributed from Vancouver, British Columbia.