David Dodd 2:53 a.m., May 21
Accused NorCal Marijuana Grower Linked to North Park Dispensary
A man from Concow, CA, a town of 700 residents about 90 miles northwest of Lake Tahoe, is facing trial on charges of growing “vast amounts of marijuana” to supply North Park’s 30th Street Patient Collective dispensary, the Chico Enterprise-Record reports. Felony charges include cultivating marijuana, possessing same for sale, and money laundering, and the defendant has already pleaded no contest to misdemeanor possession of a stun gun.
Defendant Timothy Ole Skytte is in possession of a doctor’s recommendation for marijuana and was growing within legal guidelines on his property with three other patients, his lawyer Jodea Foster says. He did, however, lease a parcel of land to Jeffrey Lee Sanford, the San Diego collective’s president, and another parcel with a second home on it to Lawrence Evans.
When police raided the properties in mid-August, they discovered a partial fence and seven immature cannabis plants dividing the parcel on which Skytte’s home was located and the separate parcel leased to Sanford. On Skytte’s side were 24 plants about three feet tall, another 30 were located on Sanford’s side and were accompanied by six doctor’s recommendations. A garden of 195 plants and a greenhouse containing dozens more was located on the property where Evans was living.
After testifying at a preliminary hearing for Skytte, Sanford was arrested by Butte County sheriff’s deputies and now faces his own felony counts of “cultivating marijuana, transporting it, possessing it for sale, and conspiracy to commit a crime.”
On receiving immunity, Evans testified that the plants on the property he occupied were already there when he moved in, apparently belonging to the collective. He had not, however, been paying his $500 monthly rent, and in exchange was tending to the garden and hoping to trade his labor in trimming the mature plants for the rent due.
The whole investigation started, the Enterprise-Record says, when Julie Sullivan at Golden 1 Credit Union filed a suspicious activity report in December 2010 after accepting a $9000 cash deposit that “smelled like marijuana.” Bank employees are trained to closely monitor deposits that fall slightly under the $10,000 federal reporting threshold, and Sullivan testified that she had received several deposits from Skytte that month.