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74-year-old Lake County man sentenced to federal prison in marijuana operation

U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis has sentenced 74-year-old Jack Protzman of Tavares to two years in federal prison for conspiracy to traffic more than 130 pounds of marijuana.

The court also ordered Protzman to forfeit $18,440, and an additional $32,800 was administratively forfeited, which amounts were traceable to proceeds of the offense. Protzman had pleaded guilty on Aug. 16.

According to court documents, an individual working with law enforcement met with Protzman regarding his marijuana dealing. Protzman showed the individual THC oil cartridges he was trafficking and said he purchases 2,000 cartridges at a time. Protzman also advised that he cultivated marijuana out of state and could provide marijuana to the individual in 50-pound increments. Protzman also advised that he was looking for someone to assist him in transporting his marijuana across state lines in a concealed compartment in a specially-outfitted vehicle.

Protzman sold the individual hundreds of THC oil cartridges and pounds of marijuana, including one instance where Protzman delivered 110 pounds of marijuana in November 2019, which was seized by law enforcement. Agents seized $32,800 in cash from Protzman.

In 2004, Protzman was convicted of conspiracy to import 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana into the United States and sentenced 5 years and 11 months in federal prison.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelly S. Karase. The forfeiture was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Mai Tran.

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