|Screen shot of the grow from CBS5 San Francisco.|
We read a lot of fucked-up stories related to cannabis here at Toke, but this one might be the most disturbing we’ve read in a long, long time.
Two California men aged 30 and 24 have been charged with keeping a 15-year-old girl as a work/sex slave on their heavily-armed Clearlake marijuana farm, locking the girl in a 4x2x2 metal box for days on end according to local news KCRA.com.
Police raided the farm where the two men, Ryan Balletto and Patrick Pearmain, kept the girl as slave labor to help them trim buds. They also allegedly sexually abused the Los Angeles-area girl using bondage devices, according to news sources.
San Francisco-area CBS5 reports the girl was called “trooper” because she didn’t scream and yell when they locked her up. The station also reports that other people might have been held against their will on the farm.
In addition to the marijuana and child slave, the pair were also arrested with an arsenal of weapons including shotguns, pistols, automatic weapons, night vision goggles, body armor and gas masks.
Locals weren’t surprised by the pot raids. Everyone grows herb in that part of the state, apparently. But the kidnapping and underage sex abuse was surprising.
“Pot’s one thing, but sexual abuse is very bad,” Jimmy Martinez, a resident who lives near Clear Lake, told KCRA. “That’s absolutely wrong.”
Both men currently are facing charges of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute more than 1,000 plants of marijuana and using a minor in a drug operation. Both could face life in prison, according to the New York Daily News. No word on what/if any additional charges will be brought against the pair for enslaving the teenager.
Frankly, if the charges are true then we hope they get the time coming to them. Not for the pot mind you, we still think that should be completely legal. But shitbags like this bringing such horrible associations with cannabis make it really hard to accomplish those goals.
Check out local coverage from CBS5 San Francisco: