MMA referee Josh Rosenthal sentenced to 37 months for pot-growing operation
by Steven Marrocco on Jul 02, 2013 at 5:00 pm ET
josh-rosenthal.jpgVeteran MMA referee Josh Rosenthal today was sentenced to 37 months in prison, three years' probation and a $100 fee for his role in a large-scale pot operation in Oakland, Calif.
The sentence matches the prison time recommended in a January plea deal Rosenthal copped with federal prosecutors, though it shaves two years off probation.
Without a deal, Rosenthal faced 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and a minimum of five years' probation.
A representative for U.S. District Court judge Saundra Brown Armstrong, who issued the sentence, confirmed Rosenthal's punishment with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
). Rosenthal's attorney could not be reached for comment.
Rosenthal was arrested in April 2012 after federal agents raided an Oakland warehouse owned by Rosenthal and an associate that contained 1,356 marijuana plants worth an estimated $6 million. He initially pleaded not guilty to drug charges.
Despite his trouble with the law, Rosenthal officiated a pair of MMA events in Utah and California over the past two months. He earlier declined comment on his case.
Rosenthal was a regular at UFC events and oversaw several high-profile bouts, including a heavyweight title fight at UFC 116 between then-champ Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin, which drew praise from UFC President Dana White.