The former owner of The Society Restaurant & Lounge in Silver Spring was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt to two years in prison after pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges in April.
Jason Miskiri, 40, admitted to conspiring to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana since at least 2009 when he was first arrested in Texas after purchasing 209 pounds of marijuana he intended to transport to Maryland. Prosecutors said he was found to be responsible for distributing somewhere between 3,000 and 10,000 kilograms of marijuana.
Miskiri is a former local basketball star who played at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring and George Mason University in Virginia.
The Silver Spring man used the funds from drug sales to open The Society Lounge on Georgia Avenue, prosecutors said. Miskiri was identified by investigators as the largest customer of a drug-trafficking organization headed by Garfield Mullings, a Hyattsville man who was sentenced to five years in prison on drug trafficking charges in 2014.
The organization primarily bought marijuana in California and Arizona and then transported it to Maryland through commercial shipping companies, according to prosecutors. Investigators determined that between August 2010 and May 2011, 8,690 pounds of freight, including marijuana, were delivered to The Society Lounge.
Miskiri faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, but Judge Roger W. Titus found Miskiri’s lack of a criminal record and endorsements from a range of local officials, including Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, convincing enough to issue a sentence of two years, according to an account of the sentencing in The Washington Post.
The Society Restaurant & Lounge was seized by the government after Miskiri’s guilty plea, the Post reported. The popular restaurant and nightclub remains open.