Beverly Hills Private Plane Pot Smuggler Gets 6 Years in Prison
Beverly Hills socialite Lisette Lee was sentenced to six years in prison and a $20,000 fine in U.S. District Court on Friday for trafficking 14 shipments of large quantities of marijuana from California to Columbus, Ohio.
Lee, 29, was coordinating flights on her parents' private jet since 2009 until she was arrested by DEA agents in Columbus in June 2010 after landing in a private jet chartered from Van Nuys with three friends and over 500 pounds of marijuana stuffed into 13 suitcases. She has been in federal custody since her arrested and pleaded guilty last February to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana.
Lee was the primary face and courier of an organization said to have trafficked at least 7,000 pounds of pot at a profit of more than $3 million, said U.S. Attorney Tim Prichard at Friday's hearing, according to the Beverly Hills Courier.
The 6-year sentence was eight months shorter than what prosecutors had asked for. Lee's lawyers argued that the year she has spent in custody is enough time behind bars and a long period of supervision would deter her from future crimes.
U.S. District Court Judge Algenon Marbley agreed to request to transfer Lee to serve the remainder of her sentence in a low security prison for female inmates in California with a rehabilitation program that could lead to a reduced sentence.
Lee expressed regret and remorse in a short statement. From the AP:
Lee said there was no way to describe the regret and shame she felt for her involvement and the effect on her family. "It makes me sick to my stomach that I turned my back on the integrity they raised me with," Lee said. She also said she didn't want this to become a distant experience. "I want this to be a life-long anchor so I'll never engage in anything so foolish and dangerous again," she said.