|Photo: Bryant Anderson/The Daily Triplicate|
|Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Morris last year displayed some of the four pounds of marijuana seized during a traffic stop. On Friday, the pot was returned to its owner.|
Daniel Sosa went to Crescent City, California last Friday to pick up four pounds of marijuana.
He had a 2 p.m. appointment to pick up the stuff — at the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office.
“It seemed weird,” Sosa said. “I was worried they were going to arrest me again.”
If the pot looked familiar to Sosa, it was because it was the same weed that had been confiscated from him a year ago, during a routine traffic stop, reports Kurt Madar of The Daily Triplicate.
Sosa, who operates two medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, said it took a call from his lawyer to the Sheriff’s Office before the medicine was finally released.
“My lawyer said that I had a 2 p.m. appointment; it only took an extra 15 minutes or so before the evidence officer came out,” Sosa said.
The evidence officer, Deputy John Olson, directed Sosa to wait in his car down the block from the Sheriff’s Office. As Sosa waited across the street, Deputy Olson wheeled out a shopping cart with a cardboard box containing the four pounds of pot.
“It was surreal,” Sosa said. “There we are on the street, and we are going over an evidence sheet and pulling out bags of medicine. I mean, we were just on the street.”
“This is the first time we’ve released that quantity of marijuana,” said Sheriff’s Commander Tim Athey. “It’s not something we like to do.”
Sosa was arrested in February 2009 after being pulled over for a broken headlight.
Officers smelled marijuana when they approached his car, and a subsequent search produced about $7,000 in cash in $100 bills, and 4.5 pounds of marijuana in the trunk.
After the original bust last year, Sgt. Steve Morris erroneously claimed that Sosa’s medical marijuana card “was not valid in Del Norte County, only in the Los Angeles area.”
Nice try, Sergeant. Last time I checked, Del Norte County is still part of California.
“This has been dragging on for a long time,” Sosa said. “The DA kept trying to make a deal, but I refused anything that didn’t include a dismissal and getting the medicine returned.”
Sosa said the District Attorney’s office offered to plead the case down to a misdemeanor, then to a civil infraction, before it was finally settled in a plea bargain where Sosa forfeited $4,500 of the $7,000 he was carrying, but got all his marijuana back.
Hmm… $4,500 for four pounds would be a hell of a deal… if the pot weren’t already yours to begin with.
“I believe this upholds the credibility of cannabis dispensing collectives in Del Norte County,” Sosa said. “It’s a great example of California law being upheld like it should.”