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in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed;

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California Dispensary Owner Sentenced To 10 Years

by Dwight

Aaron Sandusky, who federal prosecutors said used the “perceived ambiguity” of California’s medical marijuana laws to create an illegal, for-profit operation that included a cultivation warehouse in Ontario and dispensaries in Moreno Valley, Upland and Colton, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday, Jan. 7.

Sandusky, 42, of Rancho Cucamonga, was the co-founder and owner of G3 Holistics. He was convicted in October of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute hundreds of pounds of marijuana, prosecutors said. The amount was derived from the jury’s finding that each count involved at least 1,000 marijuana plants.

Investigators alleged G3 used California's medical marijuana laws as a cover for an illegal grow-and-sell operation instead of a nonprofit cultivation collective for those with a doctor’s recommendation to use marijuana, as allowed by California’s Prop. 215 and subsequent state laws regulating medical marijuana.

Federal prosecutors in California said in late 2011 they would begin investigating dispensary operations they believed were skirting the state’s regulations.

Under federal law, marijuana is an illegal drug in all circumstances.

Federal agents and other investigators claimed those who became G3 customers were not involved in cultivation. Instead, the supply of marijuana came from the growing operation in the Ontario warehouse.

In a civil forfeiture complaint, the government claimed that a forensic investigation by the IRS identified 19 bank accounts linked to G3 Holistics Inc. or individuals connected with it. The accounts had received $3.3 million in deposits during an eight-month period in 2011, with withdrawals nearly equaling that amount. The IRS concluded it was to make G3 appear to be a nonprofit organization.

Government attorneys said in a sentencing memorandum that Sandusky had no altruistic goals in establishing G3 Holistics, but instead used it to replace the income he lost in the collapse of his real estate business.

Sandusky sought probation in the sentencing before U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson in a downtown Los Angeles federal court.

Sandusky’s attorney claimed in court papers that his client believed he was operating within the law. He also said it was federal authorities who had been ambiguous about how they would apply drug statutes in states such as California where medical marijuana had been authorized.

But the U.S. attorney’s office said Sandusky “built a veneer of legitimacy around his criminal enterprise, using his customers’ good-faith search for pain relief,” according to a memo filed for Monday’s sentencing. It called Sandusky an “unrepentant manipulator.”

Sandusky’s attorney said the government’s sentencing memorandum disregarded statements from authorities, including President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, that led Sandusky to believe federal agents would not pursue prosecution of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Sandusky also had cooperated with the FBI in an unrelated corruption investigation in Upland, and Sandusky had been open with authorities regarding his G3 operation, attorney Roger Jon Diamond wrote.

“Sandusky has always accepted responsibility for what he did with respect to medical marijuana. He never denied involvement. He readily admitted involvement. Therefore he accepted responsibility and should have been given a credit for that,” Diamond’s filing said.

Federal authorities said the U.S. attorney’s office sent Sandusky a warning in October 2011 that the G3 stores were operating illegally.

The jury in October deadlocked on four other counts that charged Sandusky with maintaining drug-involved premises at the 40,000-square-foot warehouse in Ontario and the stores in Upland, Colton and Moreno Valley. Those charges were dismissed Monday on the government’s motion. The stores and the warehouse are all closed.

Federal authorities said while Sandusky closed the Colton and Moreno Valley stores, he kept the Upland store open through two search warrant raids and two asset forfeiture lawsuits — one against the property and one against $11,500 seized at the store by federal agents in November 2011.

Sandusky's jurors never heard about the issues raised in his sentencing memorandum. Government attorneys blocked those arguments from the trial and kept the case focused on whether Sandusky violated federal law.

The case had been investigated by federal agents and San Bernardino County sheriff’s detectives.

Five other defendants in the case, including Sandusky's brother, pleaded guilty before trial began and will face sentencing over the coming the months.

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Under the current FDA laws in the united States, it is illegal to make any medical claims for any health supplement or any other natural product.  Remember cultivation of Marijuana, use of Medical Marijuana, importation of marijuana seeds with the intention of growing Marijuana or using it is illegal in some countries and many states.  While Marijuana seeds, and other items associated with the use of Marijuana, are sold as souvenirs and shipped to any country in the world, your importation of the seeds could be considered a criminal offense for which there could be severe criminal consequences.  Check laws within your own country.

Medical Marijuana has been legal in numerous states within the united States for many years and recreational use of Marijuana is now legal in Washington and Colorado, since winning by initiative November 6, 2012.  The federal government of the united States still considers Marijuana a controlled substance and illegal in all states.  Laws change continuously and our intention is to stay abreast of all appropriate laws and provide a compilation of information for novelty purposes only, we do not intend to persuade, induce, intimate or condone anyone breaking any laws, nor does this information pertain to any other substance than Marijuana.

All information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to make any legal or medical claims, diagnose, treat, cure, prevent or mitigate any physical or mental condition, nor to prescribe any substance.  This site provides helpful information and is supported by compensation from quality advertisers and affiliate relationships.  This website is for educational purposes only, scientific or medical research and fun.  Cannabis is legal in about 30 countries.