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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

May 20, 2010 at 12:06 PM

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UPDATE: 'Prince of Pot' to plead guilty to federal charge

Posted by John de Leon

Marc Emery, the man known as the "Prince of Pot," has been extradited from Canada and made his first appearance in U.S. District Court in Seattle Thursday afternoon. His attorney, Richard Troberman, said Emery planned to plead guilty to one of several counts U.S. prosecutors have filed against him, ending a years-long battle over Emery's marijuana-seed business.

Emery, 52, of Vancouver, B.C., has been indicted in the U.S. on charges of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds and conspiracy to engage in money laundering. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Emery has sold marijuana seeds through the Internet since 1994. According to his website, at the time of his arrest in 2005 Emery, founder of the B.C. Marijuana Party, was making more than $3 million annually.

Troberman said Emery has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana in exchange for for a five-year sentence. He said Emery would plead guilty Monday in U.S District Court in Seattle.

During Thursday's hearing several people stood outside the federal courthouse and protested Emery's prosecution and the U.S. war on drugs.

Last summer, two of Emery's employees avoided prison by agreeing to a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

In October 2005, former Times staff reporter Peter Lewis interviewed Emery and wrote this story about his legal troubles.

For more on Emery and efforts to block his extradition, click on the website here.

UPDATE: Supporters of Emery plan to hold a rally Saturday outside the federal courthouse. For more information, click here.

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