|Photo: Eugene Davidovich|
|Eugene Davidovich: “I don’t know why I can’t get my property back”|
The former defendant in a San Diego medical marijuana trial says the office of District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is wrongfully holding his belongings, despite his acquittal by a jury.
Eugene Davidovich, who became a spokesman for local medical marijuana patients when his home was raided and four charges brought against him, said the D.A.’s refusal to return his property is likely political, reports Hoa Quach at San Diego News Network.
“I dont’ know why I can’t get my property back,” Davidovich said. “I don’t understand but it seems to be politically-driven.”
Davidovich was one of 37 people charged with criminal offenses during Operation Endless Summer in 2008. He was unanimously found not guilty by a jury on March 25.
Despite his acquittal and repeated attempts to reclaim his property, Davidovich said his belongings haven’t been returned.
Attorney Michael McCabe contacted deputy district attorney Theresa Pham at least five times to obtain Davidovich’s belongings, to no avail. Finally, on Wednesday, McCabe sent a letter to Pham with the formal request.
“Since Mr. Davidovich was acquitted of all charges by the jury’s verdict on March 25, 2010, your office has no legitimate reason to continue to maintain possession of these items,” McCabe wrote in the letter. “Thus, under the express power conferred upon the Court by Penal Code 1536, these items must be returned to Mr. Davidovich.”
|Graphic: Language Log|
The letter says that the D.A. is required, under California law, to return “34.1 grams of marijuana contained within 11 separate plastic bags, as well as 14.59 grams of concentrated cannabis (hashish) contained within three plastic bags.”
According to Davidovich, the D.A. is also refusing to return his backpack, passport, scale and papers, and other non-drug items.
If the D.A. doesn’t return Davidovich’s belongings, McCabe said he will “file a formal motion with the Court” and will seek reimbursement for any fees associated with filing the motion.
Deputy D.A. Pham claimed a motion must be filed in order for the items to be returned, since the property was seized pursuant to a search warrant.
“We are entitled to the hold of the cannabis that was wrongfully possessed at the time,” McCabe said. “For political reasons, as usual, this is part of the entire misguided motivation of the prosecution to make it as difficult as possible for patients to have access to medical marijuana and advance some type of preferred societal goals.”
“It’s just another smoke screen from the D.A.,” McCabe said.
Davidovich said that when he called the D.A.’s office to request his property, a staff person accused him of being a “stoner.”
The D.A.’s office denies this accusation.