SHARECOMMENTMORE

MINNEAPOLIS - Seven Twin Cities men have been federally indicted in connection with a high-volume marijuana operation.

The indictment, unsealed in U.S. Federal Court in Minneapolis last week, charges Irineo Serio Moreno, age 34, of Minneapolis; Ryan Timothy Solon, age 34, of Eden Prairie; Christopher David Schumacher, age 35, of Bloomington; Shawn Andrew Withrow, age 38, of Shakopee; Jeremy Allen Anderson, age 38, of Circle Pines; Corey William Johns, age 27, of Mounds View; and Arthur Eugene Johns, age 29, of New Brighton all with one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

An eighth suspect, 27-year-old Matthew Ryan Waste of Carnelian Bay, California, was also indicted.

Prosecutors say that from January of 2009 through December 20, 2012, the defendants conspired with each other and others to distribute 1,000 or more kilograms of marijuana. That's more than 2,200 pounds.

If convicted, the defendants face a potential maximum penalty of life in prison. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.

During the investigation, authorities have seized numerous items including pickup trucks, jet skis, trailers, vehicles, motorcycles, and more than $200,000 in cash. The U.S. is seeking forfeiture of all of these items.

This case is the result of an investigation by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the West Metro Drug Task Force, the West Hennepin Public Safety Department, the Medina Police Department, the Orono Police Department, the Mound Police Department, the Hennepin County Sheriff's
Office, and the Southwest Hennepin Drug Task Force.