US pot smuggler who fled to Australia sentenced to 3 years

Patton Erwin Eidson several years ago. (File image via The Australian)
Patton Erwin Eidson several years ago. (File image via The Australian)

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who prosecutors say brought thousands of pounds of marijuana into the U.S. in the 1980s before fleeing and settling in Australia has been sentenced to 3 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco issued the sentence Friday against 74-year-old Peyton Eidson.

Prosecutors say authorities arrested Eidson in the U.S. in 1985, but he fled after posting bail and obtaining a passport under a fake name.

He lived in Australia under that name for about 25 years, operating a health and wellness retreat in Queensland, before U.S. officials in 2011 discovered his real identity.

Australian police brought him back to the U.S. in 2017, and he pleaded guilty in January to conspiring to distribute marijuana and aggravated identity theft.

The Associated Press

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