A Durham man is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 27 on a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing marijuana. He faces up to 30 years in prison on the federal drug conviction.

Seth Leaf Pruzansky was arrested in Portland last September by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents after an informant identified him as his supplier. According to court documents, Pruzansky was loading two duffel bags containing 64 pounds of marijuana into his vehicle at the time.

Pruzansky pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court last week. Before he is sentenced, a probation officer will prepare a report that recommends a sentencing range.

Richard Berne, Pruzansky’s lawyer, said his client his taken full responsibility for his unlawful actions. Berne said it’s expected that a number of people will write letters asking for leniency on his behalf.

“He has long been a contributing member of this community, having started small businesses that have employed numerous people successfully. He’s also been involved in a number of charitable and health movements about which he cares deeply,” Berne said.

Pruzansky founded an organic food company called Living Nutz with his brother, Davy. His family also started Maine IntelliHemp, a maker of lip balm and skin salve with hemp seed oil.

The range for the sentencing guidelines for Pruzansky hinges on the amount of marijuana for which he is considered responsible. That amount is not limited to the drugs found during his arrest; it can also include the quantity deemed to be involved in the larger scheme.

If the amount is determined to be 220 pounds or more, the range would be 10 to 30 years. If the amount is 2,200 pounds or more, the range would be 20 to 30 years. Pruzansky could also be fined up to $2 million. He faces enhanced penalties because of a 2001 conviction in York County for marijuana trafficking. 

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

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