josh-rosenthal.jpgVeteran MMA referee Josh Rosenthal awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute.

One year ago, federal agents raided an Oakland, Calif., warehouse owned by Rosenthal and an associate that contained 1,356 marijuana plants, according to a copy of the agreement, which MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) obtained from the U.S. District Attorney’s office in Oakland.

The drug’s street value was estimated at more than $6 million.

Rosenthal is due in U.S. District Court on May 17. The government is recommending 37 months in jail, fines and five years of probation, during which he would be subject to random searches, according to the agreement. Without a deal, he faced 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and a minimum of five years’ probation.

However, the court ultimately will decide Rosenthal’s sentence.

Rosenthal, who agreed to a plea deal in January, did not respond to request for comment. His lawyer of record, Ted W. Cassman, was unavailable for comment.

A jiu-jitsu practitioner and martial artist, Rosenthal has officiated dozens of high-profile bouts in the UFC, including a heavyweight title fight at UFC 116 between then-champ Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin. The Nevada State Athletic Commission chose Rosenthal after Lesnar and UFC officials objected to veteran ref Steve Mazzagatti getting the assignment.

After the fight, UFC President Dana White praised Rosenthal’s restraint in the bout’s first round, when Carwin unleashed a flurry of punches upon the downed Lesnar. The now-retired Lesnar went on to win the bout via second-round submission.

As of late, Rosenthal has been conspicuously absent from major MMA events. Earlier this month, he gave an interview to website BloodyElbow.com in which he said his absence was the result of a staph infection. He said he would be officiating an event in May and made no mention of legal trouble.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Dana White Slammed by Don Frye over Conor McGregor's UFC 200 Spot

  • 29 days ago
  • 310 views

UFC veteran Don Frye thinks Dana White is in the wrong when it comes to the Conor McGregor dispute, which has seen the Irishman removed from the main event at UFC 200. McGregor refused to fulfil his read news >>

UFC and Bellator Veteran Lavar Johnson Sentenced to Five Years for Domestic Violence

  • 25 days ago
  • 93 views

Former UFC, Bellator, and Strikeforce fighter Lavar Johnson was sentenced on Friday to five years in prison for domestic violence. read news >>

Kevin Croom is Just a Few More Wins Away from the UFC

  • 21 days ago
  • 7 views

Following an erratic couple years, Titan FC veteran Kevin Croom believes he's back on track towards the UFC. read news >>

Veteran Fighter Blas Avena Found Dead, Police Suspect Suicide

  • 19 days ago
  • 57 views

Thirty-two-year-old mixed martial artist Blas Avena was found deceased in his apartment. Police are investigating his passing as a possible suicide. read news >>

With His Career on the Rebound, Sergei Kharitonov Hunting Bellator Championship

  • 16 days ago
  • 21 views

In the midst of a career resurgence, Pride veteran Sergei Kharitonov is hunting a Bellator championship. read news >>

Pride Vet Sergei Kharitonov Forced Out of Bellator Debut

  • 15 days ago
  • 26 views

The hits just keep on coming for Bellator 154, as veteran Pride heavyweight Sergei Kharitonov has been forced out of his promotional debut. read news >>

Leslie Smith ‘Pissed as Hell’ About the Stoppage in Cris Cyborg Fight at UFC 198

  • 11 days ago
  • 90 views

Leslie Smith is 'pissed as hell' about the referee stoppage in her UFC 198 catchweight bout against Cris Cyorg. read news >>

Stipe Miocic Finally Breaks Veteran Stranglehold on UFC Heavyweight Title

  • 11 days ago
  • 17 views

Back in January, after a scheduled matchup between Stipe Miocic and Fabricio Werdum was postponed due to a Werdum injury, the Brazilian UFC heavyweight champ threw a little shade in the direction of read news >>