(Rosenthal declaring his allegiance to Satan, via MMARosenthal)

It’s been a while since we’ve seen referee Josh Rosenthal in the cage. He recently surfaced and explained his absence was due to a bad staph infection that hospitalized him for over a week. But that was only part of the story, as he’s also been dealing with a pretty serious court case that’s gonna result in some pretty serious jail time:

Veteran mixed martial arts referee Josh Rosenthal has pleaded guilty to drug charges in California Northern District Court and is awaiting sentencing.

According to court documents obtained by, Rosenthal was arrested last year on felony charges of conspiracy to manufacture and possess with intent to distribute marijuana. Rosenthal initially pleaded not guilty to the charges in October but later changed his plea to guilty this past January, according to court documents. first reported Rosenthal’s plea on Wednesday morning.

And just in case you think this is some piddly weed bust, MMA Junkie reports:

One year ago, federal agents raided an Oakland, Calif., warehouse owned by Rosenthal and an associate that contained 1,356 marijuana plants, according to a copy of the agreement, which ( obtained from the U.S. District Attorney’s office in Oakland.

The drug’s street value was estimated at more than $6 million.

Rosenthal is looking at 3 years in jail and unspecified fines, which sounds like a lot until you take in consideration his plea knocked things down from 10 to life and a $10 million dollar fine. So we can all sleep easy knowing this menace to society will soon be behind bars and the people of California can go back to lining the pockets of violent Mexican drug cartels instead. The system works!