An American marijuana kingpin who also happens to be an Orthodox Jew has been granted furlough from his house arrest to prepare for his upcoming wedding with his pregnant fiancee, the State Island Advance reported this week.
Jonathan Braun, who is accused of trading over a hundred tons of marijuana from 2007 to 2010 in a billion-dollar international drug ring, will be allowed to take part in the traditional seven-day celebration (sheva brachot) following the wedding and will make the trip to the tomb of the Lubavitcher Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. He will also be allowed to accompany his wife-to-be to her medical appointments.
More than 600 pounds of marijuana and $500,000 cash were found at one of Braun's houses in Staten Island in May 2009. After the raid, Braun fled to Canada and then Israel for several months before returning to the United States that fall.
In 2011, Braun pleaded guilty to smuggling 2,200 pounds of marijuana from Canada through the Akwesasne Native American reservation in Franklin County, New York, and faces a minimum of 10 years in prison.
Prosecutors believe that the drug operation was valued at more than 1.7 billion dollars, with court papers showing that Braun was making more than $6 million dollars a week during its peak.