Mile High Green Cross is a recreational and medical marijuana dispensary serving the greater Denver area. (Photo by Vince Chandler, The Denver Post)

Uncle Sam’s not happy: IRS agent sentenced to prison for pot bribe

SEATTLE — A former Seattle IRS agent convicted of taking a $20,000 pot bribe from a medical marijuana dispensary owner has been sentenced to 2½ years in prison.

Federal prosecutors said that after Paul G. Hurley audited Have A Heart Compassion Care in Seattle last year, he told its owner, Ryan Kunkel, that he had saved him $1 million — and then rubbed his fingers together. Kunkel agreed to pay him $20,000, but then went to authorities, who arrested the agent in a sting operation last September.

In February, a jury convicted Hurley of receiving a bribe. U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour sentenced him on Friday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office sought a seven-year prison term. In a sentencing memo prosecutors called Hurley’s actions “an affront to the United States, the IRS, and all lawabiding tax payers.”

Hurley’s attorneys sought a one-year term.