MIAMI – A Florida man who sells indoor-gardening equipment favored by clandestine marijuana growers will get to keep some of the $22 million in cash he stuffed in 5 gallon buckets.
Forty-six-year-old Luis Hernandez-Gonzalez pleaded guilty Wednesday to money laundering and structuring bank deposits to avoid reporting the true amounts to the government.
His lawyers insist the money is legitimate profit from equipment sales to people who grow marijuana legally in other states, and that no bank in Florida would accept his cash.
The Miami Herald reports the government agreed to let him keep about $4 million, plus his house, his business and five Rolex watches.
Hernandez-Gonzalez faces up to 30 years in prison when U.S. Judge Robert Scola sentences him April 20. His defense is seeking less than five years.