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Jefferson City pot lobbyist indicted in federal marijuana conspiracy case

JEFFERSON CITY — A Columbia man who has been indicted on federal drug charges donated thousands of dollars to Missouri campaigns in recent years as he lobbied for drug-reform policies.

Eapen Thampy, 35, was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on a felony marijuana distribution conspiracy charge and a felony marijuana possession charge. If convicted, he would face 10 years to life in prison for the distribution charge alone.

The Thampy name is relatively famous in St. Louis because of the family’s success in spelling and geography bees. Eapen Thampy won the state Geography Bee in 1997 and 1998. His younger siblings took several titles in the 1990s and 2000s.

Thampy’s Kansas City attorney, Ross C. Nigro Jr., did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Federal prosecutors accuse Thampy of conspiring with eight others to distribute marijuana in Boone County.

Thampy appeared in U.S. District Court on Monday in Jefferson City but had not entered a plea, said Don Ledford, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office. Thampy was being held at the Cole County Jail as of Tuesday, an official said.

Prosecutors have asked a judge to hold Thampy without bail. A detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Ledford said. [Read More @ St. Louis Post Dispatch] 

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