WACO (July 24, 2014) Philip Larry Koss, 58, and his wife Le'Ann, 60, both of Waco, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to drug-related charges in connection with a trafficking ring in which marijuana grown in California was shipped to Texas for distribution.
U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr., heard the pleas but told prosecutors and the Koss' lawyer he would not formalize the plea until he hears from investigators who are preparing a pre-sentence report on Philip Koss.
Smith set sentencing for both for Sept. 17.
In a plea agreement, Phillip Koss pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, the maximum penalty for which is five years in prison, but his wife pleaded guilty to original charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana, for which she could be sentenced to as much as 20 years on each count.
On June 26, one of the couple’s sons, Conner Phillip Koss, 26 pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana and one count of possession with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana, according to online records.
U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith set his sentencing for Aug. 20.
He could be sentenced to as much as 20 years on each count.
The couple's other son, Chad Keogh Koss, 28, was charged as well and still faces trial.
He was arrested April 10 in Waco, an arrest warrant filed in federal court shows.
A fifth person, Brian Thomas Smith, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge on July 10 and is set for sentencing on September 3.
A federal grand jury returned drug distribution indictments the family on March 11 stemming from an investigation of an operation in which high-grade marijuana was grown in California and then shipped here to be sold to what an affidavit said was "numerous individuals including Baylor students."
Affidavits submitted for the search and arrest warrants said Phillip Koss and his son Connor maintained a residence in California for growing high-grade marijuana, which was then shipped illegally to Waco.
In a search of the family's home, authorities recovered about 12 pounds of tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC, several firearms and about $27,000 in cash, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Authorities also recovered about 200 pounds of marijuana after serving related search warrants in California as well as from traffic stops during the investigation, prosecutors said.
The Waco raid was the culmination of a three-month investigation tied to earlier raids involving Baylor students, a McGregor police source said
Phillip Koss is the owner of "Stretch for Life," a local business offering non-medicinal therapy for victims of stroke, neuropathy, Parkinson's disease, and dystonia.
In 1983 he was convicted of homicide and was sentenced to 10 years on probation, Texas Department of Public Safety records showed.