|Photo: THC Finder|
Deputies Conveniently Forget To Mention Existence Of A Tape Which Showed Dispensary Was Following The Law
A Superior Court judge in California has thrown out a criminal case against an Oildale medical marijuana cooperative that was shut down in 2009. According to the judge’s decision, the search warrant that led to the closure was based on incomplete information because it left out a tape recording indicating the cooperative was following the law.
Judge Michael Dellostritto on Friday called the affidavit supporting the search warrant “false and misleading,” and said he never would have issued the warrant if he had heard the recording, reports Courtenay Edelhart of the Bakersfield Californian.
|Photo: Bakersfield Californian|
|Judge Michael Dellostritto called the affidavit in support of the search warrant “false and misleading”|
The ruling validated the California Compassionate Co-op and was not only a victory for his client, but “more importantly, a victory for the rule of law and due process of law,” said defense attorney H.A. Sala on Tuesday.
Sheriff’s deputies identified themselves as law enforcement officers and interviewed the owner of the cooperative and several employees in May 2009, about a month before the warrant was issued. That interview was secretly recorded.
They later put together a written summary of the exchange and sent it with the affidavit in support of a search warrant, but the officers failed to attach a copy of the recording — or even to disclose that the interview had been taped.
“That would not be in the normal realm of practice, to attach a tape to an affidavit and submit it to a judge,” claimed Francis Moore, chief deputy at the Kern County Sheriff’s Department. “They’re always summaries,” he fibbed. “There are often tapes and videos and things, but it would take judges days to wade through all that.”
So obviously, this asswig Deputy Moore prefers for judges to see only “summaries” of the “evidence” prepared by — guess who? The same dishonest cops who got caught trying to mislead the judge this time!
|Photo: Bakersfield Californian|
|Asswig: Chief Deputy Francis Moore of the Kern County Sheriff’s Department: “It would take judges days to wade through all that” evidence, so they should be happy with his misleading “summaries”|
Moore said the district attorney’s office and the defense attorney “still don’t see eye to eye on whether it was a legitimate co-op, and that’s the crux of the argument, but the judge makes his decision based on the evidence he’s presented, and we respect the judge’s decision.”
Judge Sala only learned of the existence of the tape during a cross examination, at which point he told the Sheriff’s Department to produce the damned thing already.
On the recording, the dispensary’s owner, Deborah Lynn Dahl, and her staff are heard apparently showing sheriff’s deputies articles of incorporation, telling them that the co-op did not profit from cannabis sales but only covered costs, and explaining that cannabis was sold exclusively to co-op members who had been authorized by a doctor with a valid California medical license, according to Judge Sala.
The co-op had opened in April 2009 to sell cannabis only to members whose doctors had recommended marijuana use for medicinal purposes.
The judge ruled to throw out the search warrant and suppress all evidence obtained as a result of the search it authorized.
Dahl had faced one felony count of selling/furnishing marijuana, and one felony county of possessing marijuana for sale. Both charges were dismissed.
Criminal charges were filed in September 2009, and a civil suit was filed around the same time.
The dispensary is seeking the return of $14,000 in cash and more than four pounds of marijuana seized from the premises at 200 North Chester Avenue in Oildale.
The civil suit is still pending. Dahl, through her attorney, declined to comment.