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Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:24 AM


check out what is going on in California--Federal Medical Marijuana Prisoners and Cases


Pending Cases in California and Elsewhere

January 13, 2013 - Matthew R. Davies, 34, of Stockton is being offered a plea deal with a five year mandatory minimum sentence. According to the New York Times, federal agents raided two of Mr. Davies’s dispensaries and a warehouse, where 2,000 marijuana plants were grown, in 2011. The federal authorities said they stumbled across the operation after two men were spotted apparently breaking into Mr. Davies’s 30,000-square-foot Stockton warehouse. The police said they smelled marijuana plants. Federal agents conducted a raid and confiscated 1,962 plants and 200 pounds of marijuana.

Also see The Atlantic story on Davies's bust. and supporters' website KeepMattFree.com

Lynn Farrell Smith, 62, of Stockton pleaded guilty in a Sacramento federal court to manufacturing and distribution charges that can send him to federal prison for five years. He was a partner in the venture that included a Stockton marijuana cultivation warehouse and seven dispensaries, including four in Sacramento.

January 9, 2013 - Former South Lake Tahoe medical marijuana dispensary operator Gino DiMatteo pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, as part of a plea agreement. On August 31, 2012, US agents say they found 5 pounds of processed marijuana and 15 pounds of “shake,” at DeMatteo's home. Also found were various edible marijuana products, a scale, pay/owe sheets and a heat sealing machine. DiMatteo listed himself as receiving $7,000 biweekly in one of the documents found. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on April 17. The maximum penalty for possession with the intent to distribute marijuana is 30 years in prison. Source.

December 11, 2012 - Bryan Smith, 28, of Elk Grove, pleaded guilty to federal drug charges stemming from owning and operating the R & R Wellness marijuana dispensary formerly located at 75 Quita Court in Sacramento and growing marijuana related to the dispensary operation.

According to the terms of the plea agreement, Smith agreed to a sentence of not less than 5 years in prison and not more than 7 years and 3 months in prison. His sentencing date is scheduled for Jan. 25.

Smith is the last defendant to plead guilty in the case. Co-defendants Daniel Goldsmith, 27, Galt- Elk Grove; Robert Klaus, 36, San Diego; Ryder Phillips, 27, Galt; Kelly Smith, 55, Elk Grove and Bruce Goldsmith, 61.

All are pending sentencing. Read more.

October 19, 2012 - Raymond Arthur Gentile, 51, and Gustavo Angel Salinas, 24, are accused of various crimes related to marijuana cultivation and distribution for involvement with ANP Collective in Bakersfield. Gentile, who was arrested in San Bernardino County after a high-speed chase with California Highway Patrol officers, also faces a federal firearm charge. The case began after a customer accused them of assault with a baseball bat and a Glock handgun after he allegedly stole one gram of marijuana during a purchase. Agents seized 170 marijuana plants, 25 pounds of processed marijuana, nearly 3,000 pills, a 12-gauge shotgun and more than $68,000 in cash. Gentile and Salinas each face a maximum of 40 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines, the U.S. Attorney's office said. Read more.

In contrasting moves, the city of Oakland has sued the federal government to stop its forfeiture actions against city-regulated dispensaries, while Long Beach has joined the feds to arrest 40 dispensary workers and is threatening to arrest more.

October 12, 2012 - Aaron Sandusky, whose G3 Holistic collective had storefronts in Upland, Colton and Moreno Valley, was found guilty on two felony counts of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute charges. The jury deadlocked on four other charges having to do with operating a location involved with drugs. Judge Anderson declared a mistrial on those counts. Sandusky was sentenced to 10 years in prison on January 7, 2013. He plans to appeal. Read more.

Sandusky's brother Keith and four other former employees of G3 Holistic have pleaded guilty in the case. They are awaiting sentencing. G3 medical marijuana co-defendents all facing prison time

G3 co-founder John Leslie Nuckolls II testified at Aaron's trial, a condition of his plea bargain. Nuckolls testified he had been friends with Sandusky for about 11 years. In 2009 he approached Sandusky, who had real estate and broker experience, about opening a medical marijuana dispensary.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Robinson asked Nuckolls if, in June 2009, he was working as a confidential informant for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

"I was not," Nuckolls, who added that he talked with the agency, along with San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office and the DEA, and worked with them, but never worked as an informant.

Robinson then pointed out that Nuckolls had an agreement with the DA's Office at that time and after helping them with cases had a felony charge dismissed. Read more.

September 27, 2012 - 150 agents from US Homeland Security (!), FBI, DEA, CHP and Sonoma sheriff's deputies wearing military garb and were accompanied by an armored military vehicle stormed from house to house, pulling up backyard gardens, in an impoverished section of Santa Rosa. Read more.

On September 25, Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided the Live Love Collective in Anaheim.

Meanwhile, five medical marijuana patients and caregivers from Michigan will be sentenced in federal court next week. Read more.

September 25 - Federal authorities took legal action against 71 medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles County, including all known collectives in downtown and Eagle Rock part of an ongoing campaign to crack down on medical marijuana.

According to the U.S. attorney's office, officials sent warning letters to 68 pot dispensaries, filed forfeiture lawsuits against three properties that house such businesses and served search warrants at three additional facilities. Read more.

7/17/2012 - Federal agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary in unincorporated Lake Elsinore, for the second time in three months. Drug Enforcement Agency agents seized marijuana from Compassionate Patients Association, in the 17500 block of Grand Avenue, and told them to shut down. No arrests were made.

7/16/2012 - Mark Bagdasarian, the Clovis pot dispensary owner who already is facing marijuana possession and distribution allegations, is now being hit with federal money laundering charges, even as HSBC bank apologizes to a Senate committee for laundering billions in Mexican cartel drug assets (but faces no criminal charges).

7/12/2012 - The federal government filed property forfeiture suits aimed at closing Harborside, the foremost medical cannabis dispensary still operating in Northern California. In addition to its flagship Oakland location, Harborside operates a branch in San Jose. The landlords of both received forfeiture notices from the DOJ. Read more.

7/11/2012 - A federal search warrant was served at the Pacific Collective in Venice; the facility is now closed.

The federal government has sent a letter to the landlord for Golden State Patient Care Collective in Colfax, threatening him with forfeiture and criminal charges. "Once again, the DOJ is violating AG Holder's own supposed policy by targeting not rogue criminal profiteers, but a well-run, respected dispensary that is abiding in full accordance with California law," said Dale Gieringer of CalNORML. "The DOJ's real agenda is to try to destroy the most successful leaders in the medical cannabis industry because they prove that lawful access to cannabis works, contrary to the government's bankrupt policy of prohibition."

In June, federal authorities filed two asset forfeiture lawsuits against properties housing three pot shops in Santa Fe Springs and sent warning letters to 34 people associated with allegedly illegal marijuana operations in Los Angeles County. The warning letters targeted known marijuana stores in Santa Fe Springs, Whittier, South El Monte, La Mirada, Diamond Bar, Artesia, Paramount, South Gate, City of Commerce, Agoura Hills and Malibu.

5/4/2012 - The DEA, along with the U.S. Attorney's Office, IRS and Santa Barbara police, served search warrants at several collectives and gardens in Santa Barbara county, and filed three forfeiture proceedings in court. "All known marijuana stores in Santa Barbara County are now the subject of federal enforcement actions," said to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

According to the U.S, Attorney's Office, the asset-forfeiture lawsuits were filed against Miramar Collective on Ortega Hill Road in Summerland, Pacific Coast Collective, at 331 N. Milpas St. in Santa Barbara, whose operator is currently being prosecuted in state court, and an indoor marijuana farm in the 300 block of East Haley Street in Santa Barbara.

Warrants were also served Wednesday at Pacific Coast Collective, and the residence of operator Charles Jeff Restivo in Carpinteria, who is already facing felony charges related to the dispensary. Read more.

4/25/2012 - Federal prosecutors filed forfeiture actions on April 23 against The Green Door Wellness Center and the Green Tiger Collective, both in Novato. The Green Tiger has closed, but the Green Door is fighting to stay open. Read more.

2/29/2012 - US attorneys have sent landlord letters to over 50 more dispensaries in the Inland Empire area (San Bernardino, Fontana, Colton and Bloomington), where local officials have been pressing to close them. In addition, Cal NORML has learned of new landlord letters in Mendocino, apparently targeted at facilities within 1,000 feet of schools or playgrounds.

On February 28, Benjamin Wagner, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, vowed a new crackdown on large medical marijuana grows. In an appearance at the Sacramento Press club, Wagner said in the coming months a new focus will be made on pot farms with tens of thousands of plants in the central valley, from Stanislaus County down to Kern County," Wagner said. When asked if he'd ever smoked marijuana himself, Wagner replied, "I'll say I went to college."

That day, U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. dismissed one of five suits that had been filed in federal courts last fall in a bid to win legal support for medical marijuana use in California and other states. Burrell's order came in a suit filed in federal court in Sacramento last November on behalf of the El Camino Wellness Center and Ryan Landers, a 40-year-old Sacramento man who uses medical marijuana to alleviate suffering from AIDS and other illnesses.

More? You bet there's a lot more--

they are protecting their patent vigorously

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