In February of this year, poker professional Micah Raskin’s world came to a crashing halt when he was charged by Nassau County (NY) authorities of operating a major drug ring. Now the federal authorities are getting into the game, with Raskin facing more charges in a federal court along with his state charges.
Earlier this month, Raskin was charged in U. S. District court with distributing 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, a serious charge in the federal system. By federal statutes, a conviction on this charge alone could result in punishment in prison for 40 years and a fine between $2-$5 million. These charges are on top of the state charges that resulted from Raskin’s arrest earlier this year.
In February, local police raided Raskin’s home in Long Island, NY, and a storage unit on the property. During the raid, the authorities allegedly seized 358 pounds of marijuana, hashish oils (concentrated THC, the active drug in marijuana), drug paraphernalia and packaging equipment that was supposedly used to package the drugs. The authorities also seized, using civil forfeiture laws in the state of New York, also took a 2016 Land Rover Range Rover, a 2016 Chevrolet Corvette, art valued at more than $100,000 and approximately $140,000 in cash.
Raskin was charged in state court with several drug violations, including Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the First Degree; Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Second Degree; Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree; Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree; and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree. All of these charges are varying classes of felony charges, with each felony charge having punishment between five to ten years and massive fines.
The Nassau County prosecutors seem to have done their homework on Raskin, leveling several allegations in their arrest records. According to a statement from the Nassau County, Raskin “allegedly received drug shipments…and stored them in his Old Westbury home and a Garden City storage facility before a courier delivered them to customers in Baltimore, Washington, D. C., Virginial and New York, charging $1400 for a pound of marijuana. It is believed this alleged activity went on for a period of several years.”
Raskin isn’t the first poker professional to be accused of drug crimes and, if he is convicted, he joins a long list of those who have served time for the crime. In 2011, Australian authorities arrested and convicted poker professional David Saab for smuggling 14 kilograms (roughly 30 pounds) of cocaine into the country; Saab is currently serving a 14-year sentence for the crime. Mike Matusow also had his issues with the law regarding drug possession, pleading guilty in 2004 to a felony count of drug possession for sale after he was caught in a sting; Matusow did six months for that offense.
The most notable case of poker and drugs crossing paths – allegedly – is Jimmy Chagra, who reportedly won and lost millions of dollars in poker games all over Las Vegas in the 1970s. Playing with the likes of Doyle Brunson, Puggy Pearson and Johnny Moss (picking a tough crowd of poker World Champions there, wasn’t he?), legend has it that Chagra went through millions of dollars before he went to prison in 1978 (Pearson himself figured that he took $600,000 off of Chagra alone).
Raskin’s poker career is probably the least of his concerns right now, but he was a quality player on the circuit. He cashed 10 times at the World Series of Poker and three times on the WSOP Circuit, where he had his best WSOP finish of fourth in the WSOP Circuit Atlantic City in 2010. His best finish ever, however, came a year earlier at the Borgata $500,000 Guaranteed Deep Stack Tournament Main Event, where Raskin took down a $320,231 payday for winning the event. All totaled, Raskin racked up 57 tournament cashes since 2007 for $1,947,156 in career earnings.
At this moment, no court dates have been set for Raskin in either the state or federal case. Poker News Daily will monitor the situation and report accordingly.