Shawn Sheikhan Pleading for Probation Instead of Prison1 month ago
Shawn Sheikhan is currently embroiled in a legal battle that could potentially result in a 40-year prison sentence.
The American, who has a live tournament record of over $1.5 million, pleaded guilty in June 2022 to operating an illegal marijuana business, Cannaland, from 2019 to 2022. He is now begging the judge to sentence him to probation instead of prison time.
Sheikhan and his partner, Sabriana Williams, were convicted as part of a crackdown on unlicensed marijuana dispensaries in Southern California.
Cannaland functioned primarily as a wholesale supplier of marijuana to illegal dispensaries. In addition to this, it also operated as an unlicensed dispensary, serving individual customers outside of the law.
As the sentencing date approaches, Sheikhan's lawyers have made a plea for probation instead of a prison term. They argue that Sheikhan has accepted responsibility for his actions and shown remorse.
They contend that he is not a danger to the public. Sheikhan's health issues, including degenerative disk disease, have also been listed as reasons against a custodial sentence.
This is not Sheikhan's first encounter with the law. In 1995, he was convicted of misdemeanor sexual battery and served nine months in prison.
He is also known for his confrontational attitude at the poker table and his verbal sparring with other players. Mike Matusow famously had a major spat with him during a hand at the World Series of Poker 18 years ago.
The final sentence will be pronounced today, on November 3, 2023. The court is not bound by the defense's request for probation and could impose a longer sentence or additional fines.
The potentially massive sentence is a result of the large volume of marijuana involved in the operation of Cannaland. The plea deal requires Sheikhan and Williams to acknowledge having distributed more than 3,000 kilograms of cannabis products over the course of the three years.
Sheikhan's lawyers argue that a sentence with probation is sufficient to deter him from further criminal conduct.
Despite the serious nature of the charges, Sheikhan has received support from other poker pros and family members. They have written letters of support on his behalf, attesting to his character and expressing hope for a lenient sentence.
Sheikhan, who also owns two smoke and tattoo shops in Las Vegas, has expressed remorse for his crimes and noted that marijuana laws have changed in California since he was charged.
His lawyers have asked the judge to consider the $191,000 in cash that he forfeited as part of the Cannaland operation in his sentencing.
We await news on what the sentence judge decides is fair.
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