U.S. District Court Judge Kevin H. Sharp sentenced Joshua Lee Alan Eichel, 32, of Nashville to 135 months in prison Thursday for conspiring to possess and distribute 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, according to David Rivera, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
The prison term will be followed by five years of supervised release.
Eichel was indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2013 and pleaded guilty in December 2013.
As described in Eichel’s plea agreement, in a statement Eichel gave to agents following his arrest in March 2013, he claimed to have been the largest hydroponic marijuana dealer in Nashville. Eichel told agents he was the leader of a conspiracy whose members bought large amounts of marijuana from a variety of sources in California and Oregon. Eichel also explained to agents how he and his co-conspirators would then ship the marijuana to the Nashville area to resell it.
Agents had previously identified and intercepted a number of packages shipped by members of the conspiracy prior to executing a search warrant at Eichel’s home in Franklin on March 13, 2013. During the execution of the search warrant, agents found and seized packaging materials, shipping materials and about $21,000.
Prior to this conviction, Eichel was convicted in the Middle District of Tennessee in 2003 of distributing cocaine and conspiring to possess marijuana with intent to distribute.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Postal Inspection Service, as well as the 18th and 21st Judicial District Drug Task Forces, the Franklin Police Department and the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission investigated the case. Assistant U.S. attorney Brent A. Hannafan served as prosecutor.