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Calif. pot grower sentenced to 4 years in prison

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A federal judge has sentenced a Northern California man to four years in prison for growing and selling marijuana and trying to hide financial transactions related to the illegal business.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner's office says Charles Hilkey of Nevada County was also ordered to forfeit 25 California and Oregon properties worth more than $2.4 million.

The 58-year-old Hilkey was sentenced by a federal judge Wednesday after pleading guilty last February.

Prosecutors say Hilkey was involved in a four-year conspiracy to cultivate and sell marijuana. From 2006 to 2009, he structured more than $850,000 in cash deposits in order to evade bank reporting requirements.

Officials say in September 2009 authorities seized more than 200 marijuana plants, growing equipment, a firearm and more than $143,000 in cash on Hilkey's properties.

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