RIVERSIDE – The president of a medical marijuana dispensary with sites in Upland, Colton and Moreno Valley and his brother will remain in custody over the weekend after appearing in U.S. District Court on Friday. Prosecutors sought to keep Rancho Cucamonga residents Aaron Sandusky, 41, president of G3 Holistic, and Keith Alan Sandusky, 44, from receiving bail. “We appealed setting of bond and obtained stays … meaning the Sanduskys will stay in jail until a district judge reviews the setting of bond,” said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. Aaron Sandusky’s bond was set at $200,000 while the bond for Keith Sandusky, in charge of day-to-day operations at G3, was set at $50,000. The bond for Brandon Anton Gustafson, 30, of Yucaipa, who worked at an Ontario warehouse associated with G3, was set at $100,000, Mrozek said. Gustafson was expected to be bailed out Friday night. Federal authorities on Thursday arrested six people – the operators of the Inland Empire chain of marijuana clinics and others associated with an Ontario warehouse that cultivated marijuana for the stores – on drug-trafficking charges. On Friday afternoon, Aaron Sandusky was dressed in an orange jump suit and was shackled inside U.S. District Court in Riverside. About 12 supporters attended the hearing. U.S. Attorney Jay Robinson said a couple of videos on YouTube, a video-sharing website, showed why Aaron Sandusky should remain in custody. In one video, titled “Going to Pot,” Robinson quoted Aaron Sandusky as saying, “It’s still an illegal drug. So we can be shut down at any time. The police are always monitoring you. And a lot of my friends still won’t walk in here because of the federal issue. What are you doing? Do you want to go to jail? Yeah, maybe I do.” Sandusky smiled after hearing Robinson’s comment. “He has no intention of following federal law,” Robinson said. State voters approved Proposition 215 in 1996, allowing medical marijuana in the state, while state Senate Bill 420,which details the amount of marijuana a person can possess for medical purposes, prevents cities and counties from banning marijuana dispensaries.
But federal law says marijuana – medical or otherwise – is illegal. Aaron Sandusky’s federal public defender, Angela Viramontes, said her client has been “overly generous” and described acts of kindness including paying for friends to go to college and helping them with house payments. Viramontes added that Aaron Sandusky has gout and cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle disease that caused him to go to an emergency room Thursday night because he had not been given his medication on orders from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Aaron Sandusky, if granted bail on Monday, will have an electronic monitor and will not be able to use or possess illegal drugs. He will have to submit to drug and alcohol tests. Judge Oswald Parada told him the case was “serious now.” “I look forward to it,” Sandusky said. “I’m excited.” G3 Holistic member Christopher Kenner attended the hearings on Thursday and Friday. “I’m really worried for Aaron,” Kenner said after the hearing on Friday. According to an indictment released Thursday, the six defendants in the case are charged in a conspiracy to manufacture and to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. The indictment also charges all the defendants with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The two charges each carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. The other three defendants – G3- co-founder John Leslie Nuckolls II, 31, of Rialto; Paul Neumann Brownbridge, 29, of Upland, who worked in the Ontario warehouse; and Richard Irwin Kirchnavy, 45, of Rancho Cucamonga, who also worked at the warehouse, were released on bail on Thursday. Bail for Nuckolls was set at $100,000 while bail for the other two defendants was set at $50,000. The three who were released are prohibited from using marijuana despite being medical marijuana card holders. Everyone arrested in the case is due to give their pleas at 8:30 a.m. Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
via : daily Bulletin
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