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1 Sentenced In Marijuana Smuggling Ring

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A Colorado man was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in St. Paul for his role in a conspiracy to distribute 50 kilograms or more of marijuana, as he helped transported it from California to Minnesota.

Robert Lee Bowker, age 34, of Lyons, Colo., was sentenced to 24 months in prison for one count of conspiracy to distribute 50 kilograms or more of marijuana. A superseding indictment was filed against Bowker and several co-conspirators on Nov. 22, 2011. Bowker pleaded guilty on April 26, 2012.

In his plea agreement, Bowker admitted that on three separate occasions between Sept. 15 and Sept. 30, 2011, he and his co-conspirators were responsible for obtaining and transporting marijuana. Bowker obtained the marijuana and conspired to distribute the illegal drug here in Minnesota, profiting from its sale.

Co-conspirators Boyd Ethan Wilkinson, age 36, of Brighton, Colo., and Matthew Martin Hecker, age 28, of Evergreen, Colo., transported the marijuana from California to Minnesota using a Mooney M20 aircraft, with Wilkinson as the pilot and Hecker as the co-pilot. One such trip occurred on Sept. 26, 2011. A second trip, on Sept. 30, 2011, ended when the men landed their plane at the Anoka Airport, and waiting police seized approximately 70 pounds of marijuana and one pound of hashish from the aircraft.

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