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Couple faces sentencing for marijuana ‘ministry’

April 28, 2014 - 9:27pm

HONOLULU — A Big Island man who openly used his ministry to promote marijuana use is expected to be sentenced in federal court for possessing nearly 300 pot plants as part of a distribution ring.

Roger Christie of Hilo is expected to be sentenced Monday after pleading guilty last year to one count of conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess marijuana plants.

The count carries a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors are recommending five years in prison followed by four years of supervised release.

His wife Sherryanne Christie is expected to be sentenced after her husband’s hearing.

The Christies have tried to fight the charges on religious grounds.

Prosecutors say religion was a front for drug trafficking.