A Washington lawyer, Arthur S. Meisnere, was sentenced Friday in Alexandria to a two-year prison term on each of two counts related to Meisnere's guilty plea in a drug case. A federal judge ordered that the terms run concurrently, for a total of two years' imprisonment. An article Saturday reported the sentence incorrectly.
The second of two area lawyers indicted this summer in connection with a large Northern Virginia drug smuggling ring has pleaded guilty in federal court in Alexandria to perjury and tax conspiracy charges.
Arthur S. Meisnere of Potomac pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to one count of tax conspiracy and one count of perjury. In return, prosecutors agreed to drop five other counts, including racketeering and conspiracy to possess illegal drugs.
Another lawyer, former Justice Department tax attorney W. Stephen McConnell of Annandale, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in Alexandria to two counts of preparing fraudulent income-tax returns. Five other counts, including racketeering, were dismissed.
The drug ring, described by federal prosecutors as one of the largest here, allegedly funneled 130 tons of South American hashish and marijuana worth an estimated $75 million into this area over a nine-year period. Part of the alleged scheme involved the laundering of drug smuggling profits through fictitious corporate fronts and financial institutions.
McConnell faces a possible combined sentence of six years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. Meisnere faces a possible 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.
McConnell and Meisnere are the seventh and eighth out of 20 persons indicted in the case to plead guilty. Ten individuals have been arrested. Two were arrested in Costa Rica last month and are awaiting extradition and six others are fugitives believed to be living in Costa Rica.