Sunyich, Vowell sentenced in drug trafficking case

ST. GEORGE – Two St. George men who pleaded guilty to flying marijuana to Florida with intent to distribute were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla., Monday.

St. George residents Chad Sunyich, 37, and Jason Vowell, 38, were arrested in February on related charges, drug possession and drug trafficking in the amount of more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. The charges originated from the U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla., earlier this year. 

Sunyich and Vowell were arrested in St. George following their being questioned by DEA agents on Feb. 19, after the two men returned from Tampa, Fla., with over $166,200 cash on Vowell’s plane. After the arrest they were eventually extradited to Florida for trial.

Both men have since pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the drug possession and a conspiracy to distribute it.

Sunyich was sentenced to five years in prison and up to four years supervised release for drug possession and conspiracy to distribute. Vowell was sentenced to one year with three years supervised release for his involvement.

According to court records cited by the DEA, Sunyich was described as the leader of the operation that began in 2010 after he sent marijuana grown in northern California to a person who would later become a “cooperating witness” in Tampa, Fla. The marijuana trafficking relationship between Sunyich and the witness continued into 2011 and 2012.

During those years, Sunyich supplied the witness with various quantities of marijuana generally every 45 to 60 days.

Vowell would become involved in the operation as his plane, a Piper Aerostar, would be used to transport the marijuana to Florida.

Earlier this year members of Sunyich’s family were named in an FTC lawsuit against Ideal Financial Solutions and related companies. The associated companies and individuals named in the suit are accused of scamming customers out of over $25 million. Sunyich previously worked as Ideal Financial Solutions’ executive vice president.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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3 Comments

  • chupacabra August 22, 2013 at 12:31 am

    At least in his pot business he was providing a quality product to those who wanted it. Unlike the scam his family has run for years,im J. Johnson style.

  • Bender August 22, 2013 at 2:13 am

    Dad grabbed the wrong manual to teach from at Sunyich Family Home Evenings. Probably an honest mistake.

  • Phillip myCrakkin September 14, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Jason Vowell your an ARSS, and you should rot in jail!!!

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