OAKLAND, Calif. (BCN) — A federal judge sentenced a 30-year-old Oakland man to 80 months in prison Thursday, following guilty pleas for several crimes in connection with an attempted burglary and shootout at a marijuana growing operation in 2017.

Vernell Thrower pleaded guilty in two separate cases for which he was sentenced Thursday, according to an announcement from U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and officials other federal agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Marshals Service.

The first incident involved an attempted robbery Aug. 2, 2017, of marijuana from a warehouse in Richmond. Prosecutors said Thrower and two others were carrying bags of 200 marijuana plants out of the warehouse when they encountered armed people in a vehicle.

Shots were exchanged and eventually Thrower and his accomplices escaped the scene without the bags of marijuana, according to prosecutors. Thrower admitted he fired two shots from a handgun and that he had intended to sell the marijuana, according to the news release.

In the second case, Thrower pleaded guilty to selling an automatic handgun in Oakland on Nov. 2, 2017. The news release credited Daniel Pastor, Sloan Heffron, Amani S. Floyd and Frank Riebli as the assistant U.S. attorneys who prosecuted the cases, with the assistance of Andy Ding, Helen Yee, Pat Mahoney and Veronica Hernandez.

The prosecutions are the result of investigations by the federal agencies noted above with the assistance of the police departments in Oakland, Richmond, San Leandro and San Ramon and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

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