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Drug Testing News
Tommy Chong Pleads
Guilty in Bong Sales
Wed May 14, 2:24 AM ET
By DAN NEPHIN, Associated Press Writer
PITTSBURGH - Tommy Chong, who played one half of the
dope-smoking duo in Cheech and Chong movies, pleaded guilty in
federal court Tuesday to conspiring to sell drug
Chong also pleaded guilty on behalf of his business, Nice
Dreams Enterprises, which made a line of marijuana bongs and
pipes. Doing business as Chong Glass, Nice Dreams Enterprises
sold glass pipes and bongs that Chong acknowledged were used
to smoke marijuana.
Chong's attorneys said he was accepting responsibility, but
noted he was careful not to sell to minors.
"This isn't his work. His work is that of a comedian and
satirist," said attorney Richard G. Hirsch.
After the hearing, Chong said he did not use drugs. "I don't
smoke; I quit," he said.
The actor-comedian, who recently had a recurring role on Fox's
"That '70s Show," said he planned to return to what he's
always done: speaking "the truth" in his comedy routines. He
was scheduled to appear in Florida on Tuesday night.
Chong said he and Cheech Marin (news) were back together and
working on another movie; the two have appeared together in
several films, including "Up in Smoke" and "Still Smokin'."
His plea, he said, would be part of the new film.
Chong's plea came after federal Drug Enforcement
Administration agents purchased his paraphernalia and had them
shipped to an undercover business. Agents also confiscated his
company's paraphernalia during raids of "head shops" in
numerous states and confiscated "thousands of marijuana bongs
and pipes" in a raid of his Gardena, Calif., business.
The raids were part of a series by the DEA in which at least
55 people were charged with trafficking in illegal drug
paraphernalia. Officials said the investigation targeted the
nation's biggest Internet distributors of paraphernalia.
Chong is the first person to plead guilty in the raids, said
U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan.
Chong, 64, was released on recognizance bail, but must undergo
drug testing and remain in the U.S. District Court
jurisdiction of his Pacific Palisades home except to travel
for work and court appearances.
He faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a
$250,000 fine when he is sentenced Sept. 11. Federal
guidelines call for six months to one year incarceration,
though Buchanan said the government would not make a
recommendation to U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.