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Missouri pot lobbyist pleads not guilty in drug case

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A 35-year-old Missouri lobbyist accused of conspiring to distribute marijuana in Missouri pleaded not guilty to federal charges in the case.

Eapen Thampy, who lobbied for 14 groups in Jefferson City, is charged with conspiracy to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana. He also is charged with possession with intent to distribute 50 kilograms or more of marijuana.

Thampy is one of nine people indicted in the alleged scheme to bring marijuana from Oregon to mid-Missouri.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Thampy was released from prison Wednesday after prosecutors withdrew a motion to have him held without bond.

Since 2015, Thampy has donated $26,507 to Missouri candidates and other political action committees.

Thampy’s attorneys, Michael Belancio and Shawn Lee, declined to comment after the hearing.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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