Ex-Minn. diamond merchant sentenced in pot dealing

Published 2:42 pm Saturday, June 16, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS — A former Minnesota diamond seller has been sentenced to more than 16 years in federal prison for conspiring to distribute more than a ton of marijuana, money laundering and transporting stolen gems.

Thirty-nine-year-old Richard Kay of Zumbro Falls was sentenced Friday on one count of trafficking in marijuana, one count of conspiring to transport stolen goods, and 11 counts of money laundering.

Kay also was ordered to pay a $500,000 fine and $300,000 in restitution to Ohio-based Sterling Jewelers.

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Kay did business in Minnesota as “Kay Diamonds.” He admitted that from 1995 to last year he conspired to distribute more than 2,200 pounds of marijuana.

Kay also admitted to transporting stolen gems from 2001 through 2009 and working with an unidentified insider at Sterling Jewelers.