For Immediate Release - July 17, 2009

Sharon Man Pleads Guilty in Connection with Distributing Over 50 Pounds of Marijuana

WOBURN - A Sharon man pled guilty in Middlesex Superior Court in connection with his role in a large-scale marijuana distribution ring operating throughout the greater Boston area. Joshua Katz, age 25, pled guilty mid-trial to charges of Trafficking in Marijuana, Distribution of Marijuana, Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, and Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws (3 counts). Katz will be sentenced in Middlesex Superior Court before Judge S. Jane Haggerty on July 29, 2009.

From November 2004 through January 2005, the Massachusetts State Police, with the assistance of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division, conducted an investigation into a hydroponic marijuana importation and distribution organization operating within the greater Boston area. Throughout the investigation, police monitored numerous cell phone conversations and text messages on various mobile phones and discovered that Katz, with the aid of co-defendants Jeremy Katz, Robert McCormick, Kory Arquette and Thomas Cataloni, were importing large amounts of marijuana and distributing it to various locations throughout the state. On January 22, 2005, State Police executed ten search warrants at multiple locations in connection with this case. The drugs seized in this investigation totaled over 100 pounds of hydroponic marijuana. Further investigation revealed that Katz was responsible for distributing over 50 pounds of the seized marijuana. Katz was placed under arrest at the scene of the marijuana seizure.

A Middlesex Grand Jury returned indictments against Katz on March 31, 2005. He was arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on April 8, 2005, where he entered a plea of not guilty and was subsequently released on $15,000 bail. The trial for Katz began on July 15, 2009, and ended yesterday when he entered a change of plea to guilty on all charges. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 29, 2009.

On June 2, 2009, one of the co-defendants, Robert McCormick, pled guilty in connection with his role in the case and was sentenced on June 9, 2009 to serve three to four years in State Prison. Another co-defendant, Kory Arquette, pled guilty on April 7, 2009, and was sentenced to serve one year in the House of Correction.

Cases against the remaining two co-defendants, Jeremy Katz, and Thomas Cataloni, are still pending. Jeremy Katz is scheduled for a status conference on July 29, 2009, and Cataloni is scheduled for a status conference on September 17, 2009, both of which will take place in Middlesex Superior Court.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Michael Ahearn and Patrick Hanley, both of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Enterprise and Major Crimes Division, and was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office with assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents.