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The defunct Sonar nightclub in downtown Baltimore used to have a front man, co-owner Daniel McIntosh (also co-owner of McCabe’s Tavern in Hampden), who seemed to live and breathe the local music scene. That changed quickly when he got caught up in a massive pot-conspiracy and money-laundering indictment with 15 others in 2011, and it was clear, given his prior drug convictions, he was facing a stiff sentence if convicted. He fought the charges, lost after a lengthy jury trial in 2012, and was finally sentenced this year: 10 years in prison, the rock-bottom penalty he could get, and far below the 30 years-to-life that federal sentencing guidelines recommended. McIntosh was pretty low on the totem pole of the indictment, yet he got more time than the 87 months given recently to the lead defendant in a similar federal case in Maryland, Kareem Dayi. Given the liberalizing zeitgeist on the topic of sentencing pot defendants, a 10-year sentence for dealing weed may seem like something out of the Inquisition by the time McIntosh’s sentence is over.

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