Alexandria police announced Tuesday a man had been sentenced to four years in prison for his role in a criminal organization that imported and distributed hundreds of pounds of marijuana in the metropolitan Washington area, then laundered the money.
James Hunter Hutchings was sentenced to 20 years —16 of them suspended — and 10 years supervised probation. Hutchings was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering, one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, one count of importation of marijuana and one count of conspiracy to launder money.
The case was investigated by the Alexandria Police Department’s vice and narcotics section. Hutchings was indicted by a grand jury in April 2012 for conspiring to ship large amounts of marijuana from Arizona to this area. Several packages containing over 40 pounds of marijuana were intercepted by the U.S. Postal Inspector and Alexandria Police police in August 2011, according to the investigation.
From April 2011 to August 2012, Hutchings was responsible for shipping packages of marijuana from Arizona to addresses in Alexandria, Maryland and Prince William County, according to police. The packages were addressed to vacant residences and were usually retrieved by co-conspirators.
After being distributed in the metropolitan Washington area, the resulting cash proceeds were deposited into bank accounts. The cash was then withdrawn, with most of the withdrawals occurring in Arizona, the investigation said.
During the course of the investigation, police intercepted 88 pounds of marijuana at a street value of more than $220,000. In addition, analysis of records of the bank accounts used to launder drug profits revealed over $300,000 in laundered money, officials said. This criminal organization was responsible for over $500,000 worth of illegal drugs and the illegal proceeds associated with these drugs, according to Alexandria police.