The Baltimore businessman who admitted to paying more than $40,000 in bribes to a disgraced Maryland lawmaker in an effort to land a medical marijuana license and bolster his other business interests was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Thursday.
Lance Andre Lucas will serve the prison term followed by three years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty in March to wire fraud and another charge and admitted to paying $42,500 to former Del. Cheryl Glenn (D), who resigned in December 2019, just before criminal charges came to light.
Glenn, a once prominent lawmaker who had been a leader of the Legislative Black Caucus and chairwoman of the Baltimore City House delegation, was sentenced in July to two years in prison.
“Legislative decisions must be made in the best interests of the public, not in exchange for bribes. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI will continue to hold accountable those who pay bribes to benefit their own interests over the public good,” U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said in a statement Thursday.
According to prosecutors, Lucas paid Glenn bribes between May 2018 and July 2019 to introduce bills that would help businesses he owned or partnered with.
In 2018, Lucas made three personal payments totaling $4,500 to Glenn as he attempted to obtain final approval from Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission for a company he partnered with.
In 2019, he paid the delegate bribes to cross-file a bill that would have mandated funding for the state’s Cyber Warrior Diversity Program and positioned his company to receive contracts. A version of the bill was passed into law, though the language requiring the award of contracts only to companies that met certain criteria was amended out.
The majority of the bribes documented by prosecutors ― $35,500 ― were paid by Lucas to Glenn to ensure that a third company’s application for a medical marijuana growing license was selected during a “double-blind” review process at the cannabis commission.
In conversations detailed by prosecutors, Lucas told Glenn that money was not an issue and that he could pay up to $80,000 to ensure the award of the license. Glenn negotiated payments, which she collected, of $50,000 for a fictitious employee of the cannabis commission and $20,000 for herself.
Lucas assured Glenn that they would not be caught and stated “I’m from Baltimore for real, for real Baltimore . . . This is the least illegal thing I’ve ever done. This is like patty-cake compared to the [expletive] in Baltimore City.”
Glenn had been a fierce advocate in establishing the state’s medical marijuana industry; the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission is named for her mother.
Glenn is expected to begin her prison term on Monday.