One day last October, just after 4:20pm, Candace Delaven Kelly answered a knock on her door to find state police and task force agents from the attorney general’s office “requesting permission” to enter and search her home, located in rural Buffalo Township , PA, where the biggest grass problems usually revolve around whose turn it is to mow it.
Ms. Kelly really isn’t all that different than most 64-year-old ladies. Locks of gray hair pulled back in a simple braid, a gentle smile, a modest mobile home in Pennsylvania, five grandkids, 64 pounds of dank hydro expertly sealed and packaged , and just shy of $400,000 in cash stashed in duffel bags under the bed. Still, she let the officers in that day, and they reported being “overwhelmed” by the powerful aroma of weed that blasted them when they walked through the door.
She literally signed a consent form to let them in, and willingly showed them her massive stash of bud, along with $40,000 in cash. Unsatisfied, the agents kept digging for hours, eventually discovering a total of $392,000 in cash.
Police also found around two pounds of shrooms, and another two pounds of hash.
Kelly readily admitted that she hustles the ganja from a grower in Northern California for $3,300 per pound, and sells roughly 8.5 pounds of it a month out of her double wide. She says she makes a mere $100 per pound profit on the Cali weed, but the stacks of cash under her mattress led the state attorney general to file charges of distribution.
Despite the mountains of evidence, and unaccustomed cooperation by the suspect, the state AG mysteriously withdrew the charges shortly after her arrest last fall. When asked for comments at the time, the attorney general’s office, the alleged pot dealing granny, and her lawyer all had the same thing to say – “No comment.”
Her arrest this week stems from a December 16th indictment by a state grand jury, regarding the same charges dropped by the state attorney general earlier in the year. Something happened between mid-October and mid-December to get her back on the hot seat, and she now sits temporarily free on $100,000 bond, awaiting a February 5th trial.
With reams of evidence dating back to 2009, she allegedly admitted to moving 100 pounds of pot per year, and her poorly-guarded savings suggest about a $100,000 a year “profit”. While it’s certainly a respectable number, it seems it hardly constitutes a “marijuana trafficking enterprise” as the state has testified.
No, an enterprise implies something more organized…something much more powerful. Something like the network of California police departments who reportedly pocketed more than $181,000,000 in seized assets from marijuana-related cases between 2002-2012.
$18-million-dollars a year is definitely a big enough difference from $100,000 a year, but the real difference – the real crime – lies in who is truly creating victims in these scenarios. It sure isn’t the 64-year-old granny.