Cannabis landlord targeted in raid claims to be victim of political witch hunt by city of San Bernardino

They discovered lots of cash, $200,000 in all, hid anywhere– in a green steel ammo box concealed under a step, stuffed inside a paint can, in a shoe box, and also in a Dodgers satchel crammed into a gas BBQ grill.

During the Feb. 20 raid at the Pacific Palisades residence of Stephanie Smith, The golden state’s self-touting “cannabis property owner,” San Bernardino police likewise confiscated, from what her lawyer said was an old “messy box under a dirty table in a chaotic garage,” a stock of various, prescription medications, including 750 hydrocodone pills as well as 250 Xanax tablets.

Police officers also carted away a box of 2-by-3-inch plastic zip baggies, according to a returned search warrant filed in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Authorities considered the evidence enough to pin a medication possession for sales situation on Smith, a 44-year-old mother of 5, well-off actual estate capitalist as well as staunch supporter for legal commercial cannabis. Los Angeles Region district attorneys billed Smith on Feb. 22 with one felony count of property available of a dangerous drug.

Smith will next show up in Airport terminal Superior Court in Los Angeles on April 25 for a pretrial hearing.

Smith’s protection attorney, Mark Werksman, insists the situation is fake.

“There is no proof that she purposefully possessed or meant to offer any kind of medicines of any kind of kind, and also any recommendation that she did is ridiculous and also silly,” stated Werksman, a former government and also L.A. County district attorney that represents high-profile accuseds.

He claimed the tablets and also plastic baggies were surplus items from a previous medical organisation Smith and her husband ran a years ago that done lipo. Package of pills, Werksman stated, had actually never ever been relocated from the box they sat in for one decade, allow alone marketed.

“She’s an extremely successful residential or commercial property proprietor, and also the suggestion that she was peddling tablets is absurd,” Werksman claimed of Smith.

‘‘ Witch quest affirmed’

While police authorities think Smith is a big wheel in illegal medicine production and circulation, Smith claims she is the target of a political witch search, at the very least in San Bernardino, where she was a supporter of John Valdivia’s campaign for mayor over incumbent Carey Davis as well as has actually long sustained commercial marijuana procedures in the city and also somewhere else.

On Feb. 25– five days after her apprehension as well as four days after the San Bernardino City Board rejected her application for a commercial marijuana service license, placing her firm, Washington LLC, at the end of the list of applicants– Smith filed a claim against the city, declaring corrupt methods entailing a”pay-for-play”system.”Our team believe the current cops action is just a political attack based on the truth that Ms. Smith wanted to stand up to the city as well as an effort to obstruct her from joining the civil corruption suit against the city,”said Ben Eilenberg, the attorney representing Smith in her lawsuit versus the city declaring corruption. San Bernardino Police Division spokesperson Sadie Albers decreased to comment Thursday, mentioning the pending lawsuits. Pay to play? Davis, who lost the mayor’s race to Valdivia in

November, categorically denied any kind of pay-for-play accusations in a telephone interview Thursday. “There was no system that I was ever before included in pertaining to pay for play,

“he stated.” My setting, as clearly stated several times, is I’m not an advocate for the marijuana sector as well as … I’ve taken a lot of flak from the cannabis industry for … that stance. “Smith alleges in her legal action that 8 of the 16 services really did not

get approved for licenses since they were in violation of the city code or General Plan, yet they were permitted to proceed with the application procedure as well as granted licenses anyway, while various other, more certified candidates placed low on the listing with no particular rhyme or reason. On Feb. 27, a judge approved a short-term limiting order halting the licensing process for 7 of those services concerned: Organtix Orchards, AM-PM Monitoring, Orange Show Cultivators, Nibble This LLC(2 separate places), Blunt Brothers as well as Accessible Options.(The 8th firm named in Washington LLC’s match did not receive a license.)A hearing on the issue is arranged for Friday, March 8, in San Bernardino Superior Court. Not a dope dealer A cops record filed in Smith’s criminal situation in L.A. Area mentions that hydrocodone, a habit forming opiate pain reliever, has a road worth$5 to$10 per pill, as well as 750 of the tablets were located in plastic pill containers. “If you simply do a little of mathematics, $200,000 in money was found, as well as the police are declaring the hydrocodone pills cost$

5 on the road. That indicates if the cash originated from the drugs, she would certainly have needed to have actually sold 40,000 tablets. They discovered 750, “Werksman stated.”( Authorities )stated they surveilled the home for 10 days. In 10 days they did not see a single individual involved your house to buy tablets.

“He stated the cash found tucked away throughout Smith’s house forgeting the Pacific originated from the rent she accumulated from her industrial marijuana tenants.” It’s a cash company. This is just how the lawful marijuana business is performed,”Werksman claimed.”They pay their real estate tax in money, they pay their bills in cash.

This was all money from her legally qualified cannabis business renters.” While cops claim the stash of plastic baggies discovered in Smith’s residence were the type road suppliers utilize, Werksman disputed that notion. He stated they were likewise amongst the old clinical materials Smith and her spouse used at their previous clinic to dispense medication. As to why Smith was stashing all the cash money at her residence and concealing it in numerous locations as opposed to transferring it right into a financial institution, Eilenberg stated,” This is just a regrettable result of the federal financial legislations not yet capturing up to California’s legalisation of industrial marijuana.” When asked if that can get Smith in problem with the Internal Revenue Service, Eilenberg stated, “No. She reports every one of her income on her taxes.”

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