Date: January 29, 2020
BOSTON – The operators of a family-owned plumbing business in Millbury were convicted by a federal jury yesterday of drug and money laundering charges arising from their operation of a large-scale marijuana grow operation announced Kristina O'Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation in Boston.
Thomas Laverty of Clinton and Charles Laverty of Millbury were each convicted following a five-day trial of conspiring to cultivate more than 100 marijuana plants; conspiracy to launder money; and cultivating marijuana and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute. The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on May 19, 2020.
Earlier this month, Andrea Laverty of Millbury pleaded guilty to conspiring to cultivate marijuana and conspiring to launder money. She is scheduled to be sentenced on April 9, 2020.
Charles, Thomas and Andrea Laverty used their business, Chuck Laverty & Son Inc., as a front for a large-scale, commercial marijuana cultivation and distribution operation. The defendants utilized Laverty & Son vehicles, bank accounts and locations to facilitate marijuana manufacturing, storage and distribution. Every week, numerous Laverty & Son workers harvested 20 marijuana plants from the commercial warehouse. Workers then brought the harvested crop to the residence of Charles and Andrea Laverty to be dried, with a goal of producing 8 – 10 pounds of dried marijuana per week. The dried marijuana was sold by Charles Laverty in large quantities for approximately $2,400 per pound.
On Oct. 17, 2017, law enforcement officers executed two search warrants: one at Laverty and Son's business warehouse in Clinton, which was attached to Thomas Laverty's residence, where agents found a commercial-style marijuana grow operation; and another at the residence of Charles and Andrea Laverty in Millbury, where agents found a large quantity of marijuana being dried and processed, as well as another marijuana grow operation.
On the drug conspiracy charge, Thomas Laverty faces a sentence of up to life in prison, between eight years and life of supervised release and a fine of $8 million, and Charles and Andrea Laverty face up to 40 years in prison, between four years and life of supervised release and a fine of $5 million. On the money laundering charge, each defendant faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $500,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Thomas Laverty also faces a charge of theft of government funds in connection with allegations that he received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ("SNAP") benefits while concealing the money he earned from the family's drug business. On this charge, Thomas faces a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.