MMA Referee Josh Rosenthal Gets 37 Months in Federal Prison for Marijuana Charges

Written by Tom Ngo
July 2nd, 2013

UFC Strikeforce Ref Josh rosenthal

Josh Rosenthal (pictured) hasn’t refereed an MMA fight inside of a cage in forever, but the once promising ref will be locked up in a federal penitentiary for the next 37 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute.

Rosenthal is not eligible for parole.

The office of Senior District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong, who sentenced Rosenthal on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Oakland, California, confirmed the penalty to MMAFighting. According to the report, Rosenthal will also face a three-year supervised release and must pay a $100 special assessment fee.

Rosenthal was arrested last year on felony charges after authorities raided an Oakland warehouse owned by Rosenthal and an associate and confiscated 1,356 marijuana plants.

The street value of the weed was roughly $6 million.

Rosenthal initially pleaded not guilty to the charges in October, but changed his tune in January as part of a plea agreement.

Without the plea, Rosenthal faced 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and a minimum of five years probation.

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