A 63-year-old man appeared in a California court to try to prevent county authorities from removing the marijuana garden he maintains. The man has since been arrested on federal charges of drug trafficking. The allegations were said to be the culmination of a four-month-long investigation.
According to reports, the Tulare County Sheriff's Department's S.T.E.P Unit had apparently been investigating the man on suspicion of the possession and sale of marijuana, in contravention of the California medical marijuana laws. Police accused the man of brokering a deal for the sale of more than 200 pounds of marijuana to be transported across state lines, though no evidence was disclosed to demonstrate on what basis authorities believed the man intended to commit those crimes.
Several search warrants were served at various locations in the Visalia area. As a result of the search warrants, county sheriffs and members of the Interagency Narcotics Enforcement team and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration purportedly seized what was described as 207 pounds of processed and packaged marijuana. Police claim to have also seized five guns, grow lights and cloning trays, among other items.
The man was arrested by Drug Enforcement Administration agents on federal charges involving possession and trafficking. Three other parties believed to be involved were also arrested, including the man's brother-in-law. All of the parties arrested are from Visalia, California.
The federal crimes this man is accused of can carry serious consequences, so it is extremely important that people facing such charges are fully aware of their protections under the law. As readers of this blog likely know, not everyone accused of drug trafficking is guilty. By law, people charged with such a crime must always be presumed innocent unless proven otherwise in court. Indeed, the burden is on prosecutors to prove their claims beyond a reasonable doubt. Federal charges, however, can be especially difficult to face alone, particularly because they often involve complex legal questions. Every California resident accused of drug crimes deserves a strong and meaningful defense from competent legal professionals who are familiar with federal and California drug laws.
Source: recorderonline.com, "Pot advocate arrested on federal charges," Nov. 2, 2011