A man who pleaded guilty to importing 27 pounds of marijuana to a Pine Brook warehouse in April with intent to distribute the drug was sentenced Friday to five years in prison.
Zachary Ayers, 23, of Montague, appeared in state Superior Court in Morristown with his former girlfriend, Emily Holt, 21, of Rumson, who was sentenced to two years of probation, $1,455 in fines and 100 hours of community service, according to the Daily Record. The Daily Record reported that in addition to the prison time, Ayers, who allegedly masterminded the drug shipment plot, was sentenced to pay $2,400 in fines.
Ayers and Holt were arrested in April 2011 after an undercover law enforcement agent said he discovered the couple was having a large quantity of marijuana, the value of which totaled more than $250,000, sent to the warehouse in shipment cubes from California. The Morris County Prosecutor's Office said the drugs were being hidden in a beanbag chair and dryer inside the cubes.
Both Ayers and Holt were charged with first-degree possession of marijuana in a quantity of 25 pounds or more with intent to distribute and second-degree conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana in a quantity of 25 pounds or more. Ayers was hoping to use the money from drug sales, an estimated $6,000 per pound of marijuana, to buy a house, The Daily Record reported.
The Montville Township Police Department, United States Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey State Police and the Morris County Sheriff's Office assisted the Morris County Prosecutor's Office in the investigation and arrest.