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Former Watertown councilor sentenced to 7 years in prison for marijuana enterprise

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  February 28, 2014 05:28 PM

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Former Watertown councilor Thomas "Gus" Bailey,was sentenced Thursday to 7 years in prison and three years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty in November to trafficking marijuana out of his Waltham warehouse and laundering income from the drug sales.

Bailey, 52, who served as a councilor in Watertown from January 2002 through December 2005, was arrested in October 2011 after police found 1,062 pot plants and 300 pounds of loose cut marijuana, worth around $2 million, along with $20,000 in cash at his 269 Lexington St. warehouse, authorities said.

An investigation found that Bailey led the marijuana growing and distribution business from 2001 through when he was caught in 2011, which means he was running the illegal drug operation the entire four years he served on Watertown’s Town Council, according to a statement from US Attorney Carmen Ortiz's office.

Bailey's drug business became so lucrative that he repeatedly had to move to roomier locations and hire more workers to help grow and prepare the marijuana, the statement said.

In 2006, Bailey and the case's other co-defendants -- including his ex-wife, as well as his former mistress -- began laundering more than $1 million in revenue from the drug sales by depositing $5,000 or less in cash into their personal bank accounts and then writing Bailey checks, the US Attorney's office said.

Barbara Waldman, Bailey's ex-wife, was responsible for laundering at least $900,000 as part of this scheme, prosecutors said. She was sentenced Thursday to six months in jail after she pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to commit money laundering, the statement said.

All of Bailey and Waldman’s co-defendants have also been convicted and sentenced.

Bailey pleaded guilty on Nov. 18 last year -- the same day his trial was set to begin -- to one count of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana, one count of distribution of marijuana, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to the US Attorney's office.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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