In the ever-changing climate of marijuana legalization and medical marijuana legislation, it is sometimes hard to predict what police will do in any given situation. According to a recent news article from 760 AM KFMB News in San Diego, three defendants were arrested in a marijuana grow bust operation.
Authorities have stated that police executed a search warrant and seized hundreds of marijuana plants, several rifles classified as high-powered, handguns, thousands of dollars in cash, and some quantity of opium. At the scene, police allegedly found indoor grow lights, an irrigation system, and an emergency generator to be used in the event of a power outage.
It has also been alleged that one of the defendants, who is though be the leader of the group, used a screen printing business as a front for the marijuana growing operation. Two of the defendants were on scene at the time of arrest, apparently caring for the plants.
According to witnesses, the marijuana plants gave off such an odor that neighbors had complained to the police. However, business owners in the same complex deny ever calling the police about the smell, even though they were suspicious that there was a large quantity of marijuana on the premises.
Once inside, police also discovered that the tenants had knocked down the walls to several of the adjacent commercial rental spaces and had a grow operation that was approximately 7,000 feet and contained living quarters for the workers.
All of the defendants were charged with various crimes, including the cultivation of marijuana and possession of opium, which is a controlled substance. As our Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys can explain, sale or transportation of marijuana is a felony punishable by up to four years in state prison, and possession with intent to sell marijuana is also a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.
In cases such as this that allegedly involve large quantities of marijuana, a strong defense will likely involve filing a motion to suppress the evidence based upon an illegal search and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and California law.
An attorney who regularly handles drug cases will investigate the validity, or lack thereof, with respect to the search warrant. In order to obtain a warrant, the police, with the assistance of a deputy district attorney, must draft an affidavit and present that to a judge to issue a warrant. The judge will normally take the affidavit and the affiant’s (police officer’s) sworn testimony at face value and issue the warrant.
Upon further investigation, it may be possible for a defense attorney to demonstrate that the police were not being truthful in the affidavit. One of the ways to accomplish this is to show that the police could not have plausibly made the observations on the affidavit from the location at which they claimed to be when making such observations. Surveillance camera footage is particularly helpful in these situations.
However, the facts of every case are unique, and you should speak with an attorney about your particular situation.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.
3 arrested in marijuana grow operation bust, October 14, 2014, 760 AM KFMB News
More Blog Entries:
San Diego Man Arrested for Shipping and Selling Marijuana, October 12, 2014, Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Lawyers Blog