The head of an Oxnard medical marijuana co-operative was arrested last week and charged with drug crimes, including possession of marijuana for sale, conspiracy and perjury.
Chelsea Sutula, 39, who runs the Sespe Creek Collective, was arrested after deputies served a search warrant at her place of business. Investigators say that the collective was operating outside of the guidelines established by Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act.
According to Sutula, who was released on $50,000 bond, officers also raided her home, removed her pets from the home, confiscated her computer and seized cash. Ventura County has targeted marijuana production and dispensary facilities aggressively. Earlier this year, the department seized nearly 3,000 plants and more than 100 pounds of processed marijuana from a different operation outside of Fillmore.
In that raid, officials say that the operators were illegally diverting water from Sespe Creek to provide irrigation for their operation. According to investigators, the Fillmore operation was much larger than its permits allowed.
In April, Ventura authorities also arrested the head of an Ojai medical marijuana cooperative and accused him of embezzling funds from both the cooperative and the Humane Society of Ventura County, as well as overcharging cooperative members for marijuana products.
Sutula says that her cooperative works hard to comply with the provisions of Proposition 215. She has run the cooperative since 2011. She is scheduled to be arraigned in mid-November.
Ventura Drug Crimes Attorney
Ventura County continues to prosecute medical marijuana cooperatives that operate within the county, even as voters in the state prepare to vote on legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. If you’ve been arrested in connection with the operation of a medical marijuana dispensary, you need the assistance of an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively in Ventura County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years, and is ready to take your medical marijuana case.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County drug crimes case.
Photo Credit: Carlos Gracia, via Flickr.com