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Former Watertown councilor sentenced in marijuana case

Former Watertown town councilor Thomas “Gus” Bailey was sentenced to seven years in prison and three years of supervised release Thursday after he pleaded guilty in November to trafficking marijuana out of a Waltham warehouse and laundering income from drug sales.

Bailey, 52, who served as a councilor in Watertown from January 2002 through December 2005, was arrested in October 2011 after police found 1,062 pot plants and 300 pounds of loose cut marijuana, worth around $2 million, along with $20,000 in cash at his 269 Lexington St. warehouse, authorities said.

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An investigation found that Bailey led the marijuana growing and distribution business from 2001 through when he was caught in 2011, which means he was running the operation the entire four years he served on the Town Council, said a statement from US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz’s office.

Bailey’s drug business became so lucrative that he repeatedly had to move to roomier locations and hire more workers, the statement said.

In 2006, Bailey and the case’s other co-defendants — including his former wife, as well as his former mistress — began laundering more than $1 million in revenue from the drug sales by depositing $5,000 or less in cash into their personal bank accounts and then writing Bailey checks, the US attorney’s office said.

Barbara Waldman, Bailey’s former wife, was responsible for laundering at least $900,000 as part of this scheme, prosecutors said. She was sentenced Thursday to six months in jail after she pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to commit money laundering, the statement said.

All of Bailey and Waldman’s codefendants have also been convicted and sentenced.

Bailey pleaded guilty on Nov. 18 last year, the same day his trial was set to begin, to one count of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana, one count of distribution of marijuana, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, the US attorney’s office said.

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com.
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