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Josh Rosenthal Cops Plea for Role in Six Million Dollar Marijuana Bust (!!), Currently Awaiting Sentencing

(“If you shortchange me again, Nick, I swear to God that retirement will no longer be an option for you.” Photo courtesy of Getty Images.) 

Despite his longtime standing as one of the best referees in MMA, veteran official Josh Rosenthal has been noticeably absent from the octagon as of late. While he informed BloodyElbow earlier this month that his absence was the result of a staph infection, it turns out that his troubles were less physical — unless he has the worst case of glaucoma this world has ever seen — and more legal. According to the U.S. District Attorney’s office in Oakland, California, Rosenthal recently plead guilty to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana after a warehouse he owned containing 1,356 plants — valued at a street value of six million dollars — was raided last year. Rosenthal now faces a pretty lengthy jail sentence (via MMAJunkie):

Rosenthal is due in U.S. District Court on May 17. The government is recommending 37 months in jail, fines and five years of probation, during which he would be subject to random searches, according to the agreement. Without a deal, he faced 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and a minimum of five years’ probation. 

Rosenthal, who agreed to a plea deal in January, did not respond to request for comment. His lawyer of record, Ted W. Cassman, was unavailable for comment. 

Three years just for weed?! Damn!

This of course begs one to ask: Why in the holy Hell was Rosenthal wasting his time separating sweaty dudes in a cage for peanuts when he was sitting on a goddamn gold mine? I know for a fact I’ve been told by experts in the field that harvest season isn’t for a couple of months, so unless Rosenthal has been using the UFC as his own personal barbershop over the years, it’s kind of puzzling that he would opt for the life of Joe Plumber over that of George Jung…

Then again, it sure would explain all of the recent drug troubles the UFC has been having. TELL US WHO SOLD YOU THE DRUGS, DANA.

-J. Jones

Cagepotato Comments

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docktordoom- April 18, 2013 at 6:10 pm
He informed on the other guys and was responsible for exceeding the number of plants over the federal limit...
he's a RAT...
stak- April 19, 2013 at 8:14 am
Do you have a link or something specific I should google? I can't find anything about him being a rat. I'm not calling you a liar, I just want the full story.
stak- April 19, 2013 at 7:26 am
What federal limit? That would imply that they allow any cannabis plants. Even one plant is against federal law.
mcdolph- April 18, 2013 at 3:10 am
I wish he was my pal
docktordoom- April 18, 2013 at 6:07 pm
he ratted out the other guys...
Nippletwist- April 18, 2013 at 1:33 am
wow really sad that good people are still being imprisoned over pot.
Flynn- April 18, 2013 at 12:08 am
You know I am sure if Rosenthal had a couple of plants or even 20, I doubt weed would be reading about this. So is Rosenthal a ref and dealer? How frickin' cool is that?! Imagine seeing cans getting crushed at UFC events and picking up a dub of some dank stuff at the same place. So was he growing for the Diaz brothers? Or were the Diaz brothers, customers? I bet Matt Riddle is pissed! The Ganj was under his nose the whole time. Oh, god! Does Rosenthal smoke herb before a reffing gig?

Just wonderin,

bruce leeroy- April 17, 2013 at 11:09 pm
Looks like herb dean lost his supplier.
docktordoom- April 18, 2013 at 6:32 pm
Herb is an honest man.
the silver hawaiian- April 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm
God DAMN this site sucks balls for posting comments. Apparently my first post WAS lost!

Y'alls cop-math is awesome.
the silver hawaiian- April 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm
Lulz at my math.
algiersheadkick504- April 17, 2013 at 5:07 pm
It was medicinal
danomite- April 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm THAT'S why so many barbershops popped up in my town over the last few years.
crappiefloper- April 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm
2.5 yrs for an operation of that size? In a country club? That's a good deal
cman- April 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm
All 209 fights he reffed are now being switched to no contests since he guided them to win bonuses to pay off their tab.
towelie- April 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm
you ever reffed a UFC fight...ON WEEEEEED??
Alan K- April 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm
Dmonicideals- April 17, 2013 at 2:40 pm
Sad, another victim in the senseless war on cannabis.
El Guapo- April 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm
(Looking at you guys, you guys)SOMEBODY graduated from Weed College. Nerds.
I should've cheated off you guys during my advanced weedomomics class. When I actually went to class, I mean, as I was normally watching Pride fights stoned off my ass.
agentsmith- April 17, 2013 at 1:56 pm
Mr_Misanthropy is correct... at $10 per gram, 1356 plants would have to yield a pound each to add up to $6 mil. Good luck with that.
El Famous Burrito- April 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm
More decent wage jobs lost. Thanks Obama.
Mr_Misanthropy- April 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm
It's not 2700 lbs. of weed. With that large of an amount of plants indoor they were most likely normal indoor sized plants that would yield between 2-4 oz. of dried herb per plant so somewhere in the neighborhood of 200-300 lbs. if everything went well. Plants that yield over a pound are enormous and can easily take up 250 ft3 of space or more. Still considering if you have your shit down you can pull down every 60 days or so not bad. Probably about $1,000,000.00 every two months before expenses and splitting it with whoever else there was.

Don't worry, he'll find plenty of fights to ref in Federal prison.
El Guapo- April 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm
"Investigators believe the informant, whom we'll refer to him as Jon Shmones Homes in order to protect his identity, apparently ratted on Rosenthal over a dispute involving the numbers "12 to 6". They're still trying to figure out if the digits are a reference to grams vs dollars or elbows to the dome. We'll have more as the story unfolds."
docktordoom- April 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm
JOSH ROSENTHAL is a rat...
towelie- April 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm
i thought that was Mazzagatti
Hexed79- April 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm
How was this not Herb Dean?
CWill859- April 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm
But he did it like a boss. Damn son
Deadpanda- April 17, 2013 at 12:37 pm
1356 plants... that would put out about 2700lbs per grow cycle ::does math:: that's enough weed to keep about 347,000 serious stoners content for a solid week.

Umm, wow. So there's definitely more to this story.
Deadpanda- April 17, 2013 at 1:16 pm
6 million dollars worth of product from 1356 plants. I'm sure you know how to run a grow operation, but you're assuming Rosenthal does things by your book. Based on the numbers given I do think he was growing trees in there; that's also probably why he got caught.

Stick to your green house & leave critical thinking to others.
stak- April 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm
Spoken like someone who has no idea how a commercial operation is run. Stick to high school little boy.
Deadpanda- April 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm
Well you're right about my math being off. He only needs about 1500 lbs per cycle. As far as you being wrong about everything else, sit on your green thumb & spin big boy.
stak- April 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm
That is horribly incorrect math. You're trying to say that each plant will yield two lbs every cycle? Who the hell grows 1300+ trees in a warehouse? What about vegging plants, clones, and mothers? Are they not in that 1300 figure?

That's a commercial grow op so they're gonna be doing hydro, probably sea of green, with very little veg time. They'll have a ton of single cola plants that yield an ounce or less each.

2700 units per cycle. LOL!!
teep- April 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm
I always thought Rosenthal looked like a creepy genius!
Fried Taco- April 17, 2013 at 12:14 pm
Josh Rosenthal is the Six-Million-Dollar Man! Nick will stay retired until Josh is back and can referee his fights.