A Wisconsin man has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for running a large-scale marijuana trafficking ring through his three McDonald's restaurants.
Prosecutors say 40-year-old Edward G. Patterson, of Whitefish Bay, recruited his employees into the conspiracy and tried from jail to hire someone to kill informants who helped agents make the case against him.
Authorities busted the ring in 2013. Prosecutors said Patterson and workers he recruited drove marijuana back from California before he switched to having it mailed to various Milwaukee addresses.
Under his plea agreement, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, Patterson forfeited his partial stakes in the restaurants in Glendale, Fox Point and Mequon, which have been sold.
In a short apology to the court, Patterson blamed greed, drugs and debt for his decisions.