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The State

Saying a federal judge had abused his discretion, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the maximum five-year sentences given to relatively minor participants in a large marijuana smuggling operation. The three-member panel ruled that U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti failed to consider the facts of each case when sentencing two boat crewmen and three other men who had invested in the operation and were repaid with marijuana. They had pleaded guilty to taking part in a Southern California-based smuggling operation called the Coronado Company.


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