Well-known poker pro Shawn Sheikhan will find out this week whether his pleas for a probation sentence rather than jail have been granted after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana.
As we revealed earlier this year, Shawn Sheikhan is facing up to 40 years in prison for marijuana distribution.
That horror scenario revolved around his illegal marijuana distribution and dispensary business, Cannaland. Police raided the premises last year and seized 3000lbs of marijuana, with a street value estimated at $6million, as well as five firearms.
Having pleaded guilty, Sheikhan is now hoping his lawyers can get his sentence reduced to probation rather than the expected five years minimum, and he has enlisted the help of at least one poker great to aid his cause,
Mori Eskandani, Poker Hall of Famer, president of PokerGO, and the producer of shows such as Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker, wrote in support of Sheikhan.
“Shawn has told me about the serious federal crime he has pled to and has expressed serious remorse. I would like to let you know that Shawn has always treated me and others with respect,” stated Eskandani.
“He loves his wife Tania and his daughter Tatiana; I watched him on numerous occasions play tennis with her since she was in first grade and be a loving father. He also encouraged her to get a real education.”
Eskandani’s letter was one of six sent in to Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo, who will decide Sheikhan’s fate, expected to be announced on November 3rd after multiple delays.
The pleas were accompanied by a list of reasons why the defence lawyers believe probation rather than prison would be a more appropriate sentence.
Sheikhan’s attorney, Richard A. Schonfeld of Chesnoff & Schonfeld law firm, wrote in his sentencing memorandum: “Mr. Sheikhan has accepted responsibility for his conduct in this case, and the attached letters and papers on file, indicate that Mr. Sheikhan’s remorse is sincere.”
He added: “Mr. Sheikhan has been a fully compliant while on pre-trial release, and vows never to be involved in criminal behavior again.”
Sheikhan shot to poker infamy when he was involved in a dramatic WSOP set-to with Mike “The Mouth” Matusow.
It was later revealed that he had been sentenced to nine months imprisonment in 1995 for misdemeanor sexual battery on a child under 18 years of age, later narrowly avoiding deportation.
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