Entire Waco family convicted on federal marijuana charges
Phillip Koss of Waco was convicted today on a federal charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute in excess of 50 kilograms of marijuana.
His three sons and wife had already plead guilty last year on taking part in an operation which transported cannabis grown in California to Waco for distribution purposes.
Le’Ann Koss pleaded guilty in July and was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison. Conner Koss, 26, and Chad Koss, 28, also pleaded guilty in the drug trafficking conspiracy, along with another man, Brian Thomas Smith, 23.
Conner Koss was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, while Chad Koss was placed on probation for three years, with six months of that to be served on home confinement. Smith was sentenced to two years in federal prison.
The jury acquitted Phillip Koss on related charges of possession with intent to distribute in excess of 50 kilograms of marijuana and maintaining a drug-related premises.
U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith Jr. will sentence Koss, who served probation for a 1983 manslaughter conviction, on April 1.
Koss, 59, who owned Stretch for Life, a rehabilitative health service, after working decades in the wrecking yard business, denied any involvement in the marijuana trafficking conspiracy and distanced himself from his family and his former home at 5200 Chaparral St. in Waco during two hours on the witness stand Tuesday.
Agents found more than 16 pounds of marijuana and $26,300 in cash during a raid at the home in November 2013.
Koss pleaded guilty in March to a reduced charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, but he was allowed to withdraw his guilty plea in October.
He explained at the time that he didn’t understand the charges to which he pleaded guilty and said he had nothing to do with the marijuana distribution conspiracy to which his family members pleaded guilty.
Koss told jurors that he did not know what his sons and wife were doing, and that they operated independently of him. “I have never taken a drug, smoked a cigarette or drank a beer in my life,” Koss told the jury. “I have a real problem with drugs. My sons support themselves. They are 24, 26 and 28. I have no control over them.”
Originally Koss faced up to five years when he original plead guilty, however now that he has been convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
The Waco Tribune-Herald has the full back-story on the events and trial.