After being arrested in late 2018 on a variety of federal and state drug charges, poker professional Micah Raskin has pled guilty to a lesser federal charge of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and seen all state charges dropped. Although the plea bargain takes some of the more severe charges off the table, it is still expected that Raskin will be serving some jail time for the crime he now admits committing.
How Long in Jail?
According to journalist Tim Prudente of the Baltimore Sun, Raskin entered his guilty plea in the U. S. District Court in Baltimore to only the conspiracy to distribute charge. When he was arrested in October of last year, Raskin was accused of outright distributing 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, among other state and federal charges. On just the distribution charge alone, Raskin was facing the potential of a 40-year sentence and fines that would total up to $5 million.
With the plea bargain, Raskin is definitely getting a better deal. With the state dropping their charges and the feds getting the guilty plea on the conspiracy to distribute charge, Raskin “only” faces a mandatory five-year sentence for that crime. According to Prudente, Raskin’s attorney David Cohen stated that Raskin was “taking responsibility for his actions.” For now, however, Raskin remains free as he was released under supervision of the courts and won’t be officially sentenced until June.
How Much is Too Much?
Even in a day when marijuana laws are being relaxed across the country, what Raskin was accused and now has confessed to doing was a bit much. When police raided Raskin’s home in Long Island, NY, they found 358 pounds of marijuana, concentrated vaping THC, drug paraphernalia and packaging equipment (baggies, scales, etc.) that were used to traffic the marijuana. Using the laws of New York and civil forfeiture, the police also seized other property from Raskin, including a 2016 Land Rover, a 2016 Corvette, art valued at more than $100,00 and approximately $140,000 in cash.
More details on the crime came out during Raskin’s guilty plea in federal court. According to Prudente, the prosecutors showed that Raskin was receiving marijuana shipments that he would store in his home in New York. He would then courier the packaged drugs to Baltimore, Washington, D. C., and Virginia (hence why the case was heard in a Baltimore federal court rather than in New York). The prosecutors put the exclamation point on their case by wiretapping Raskin’s cell phone, which brought in a treasure trove of texts, messages and calls. This evidence showed that Raskin was a part of a major drug operation in Baltimore County.
The End of a Career?
Raskin wasn’t a major part of the tournament poker world, but he had made a bit of a name for himself over the years. According to the Hendon Mob Database, Raskin broke out during the Golden Age of Poker, making his first cash in 2007 in a World Series of Poker Circuit event in Atlantic City. He would garner his first significant championship at the Borgata in 2009, racking up a six-figure score of $320,231 by winning the $500,000 Guaranteed Deep Stack Tournament at the casino.
That would prove to be the apex of Raskin’s career, however. Although he would earn several international cashes including a final table finish at the European Poker Tour’s San Remo Main Event in 2012, Raskin would never win a major poker title on any major circuit. His final cash came in January 2018 at the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, when his 134th place min-cash finish topped his tournament poker career off at 57 total cashes and nearly $2 million in career earnings (in the Top 500 for career earnings). With the guilty plea to the federal charges against him – and the mandatory sentence – it is likely that the tournament poker world has seen the last of Micah Raskin, unfortunately.