Third party sentenced in pot distribution plot

RICHLAND — The brother of a former Franklin County jailer will spend eight months in a federal prison for trying to start a marijuana distribution business.

Troy Green, 29, of Spokane also was ordered to spend four months on electronic home monitoring after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Richland to conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

Green, his sister, Sonya Symons and her boyfriend, Kevin Still, were arrested in October 2009 following an investigation by the Tri-City Metro Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.

Still, who spent 21 years as a Franklin County corrections officer, and Green were arrested in Spokane after meeting an undercover detective who arranged to sell them 12 pounds of marijuana for $30,000.

Symons, who worked at the jail for six years, was arrested at the Pasco home she shared with Still.

Still and Symons were sentenced in August for their roles in the scheme.

Still, 44, received a two-month prison sentence, four months of electronic home monitoring and 80 hours of community service on a charge of attempting to possess marijuana with intent to distribute.

Symons, 32, was ordered to spend one month in prison, two months on home confinement and complete 80 hours of community service for distributing 6 grams of marijuana.

Charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana were dismissed against both Still and Symons.

But Symons' brother was given eight months in prison after being pegged as the leader of the plan.

In documents filed with the court, Green's defense attorney objected to the characterization, saying the plan was started through a contact Still and Symons' made in the jail and the initial negotiations with undercover agents were made by Still.

Federal prosecutors, however, said that while Still initiated the contact, Green was the experienced operative and Still and Symons "had no hope of being successful without Mr. Green's financial backing," documents said.

Green also admitted he had been trafficking marijuana and could move about 20 pounds a week, document said.

Several letters of support on behalf of Green were submitted to Judge Edward Shea before Green's sentencing. The letters, from his fiancee, father and numerous friends, said Green is kind and gentle, a devoted father to his three daughters and works hard to provide for his family.