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…