Yesterday, a woman from part of Northern California's green belt, Nevada City, was sentenced to five-and-a-half months in prison. Patricia Albright pled to guilty to "marijuana cultivation and structuring financial transactions to evade federal reporting requirements." The fact that she and her son used sketchy methods for their drug operation is what got them caught.
Honestly, I have no idea how marijuana farmers go legitimate in an environment that offers an extremely tempting, lucrative payoff without offering federal banking or protections. Though, I am quite sure that if I were trying to enter the business, I would make a concerted effort to avoid fucking off the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration; the California Department of Justice; the Grass Valley Police Department; and the Nevada County, Placer County and El Dorado County sheriff’s offices.
All those fine people formed an investigation after Albright secured a property for growing marijuana by making "21 cash transactions at six different financial institutions over three days so she could avoid federal reporting requirements related to cash deposits."
That bit of indiscretion is what probably prompted a two-year look into her business that culminated in "16 search warrants in three different counties, law enforcement agents seized more than 4,100 marijuana plants, more than 200 pounds of processed marijuana and numerous firearms."
Also, regularly shipping marijuana across state lines using fake names and addresses, as indicated by reports, will get you into heaps of trouble. Then, adding insult to injury by providing the documentation for the shipment of thousands of cash across state lines resultant of drug sales should also be avoided.
I would never count myself as criminal mastermind, but I have a pretty good feeling that you can use this as a prime example for the course handbook on how to attract law enforcement's attention.