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United States v. Michael Teague (2002-2007, Orange County, CA)

posted Jan 30, 2013, 11:13 PM by The Editor   [ updated Jan 31, 2013, 2:54 AM ]
Patient Michael Teague was arrested in May 2002 and charged under state law with cultivating just 102 seedlings in a garage in Tustin, CA.   Teague's charges were dismissed oer Proposition 215 in state court, but he was subsequently re-arrested by BATF and charged in federal court on charges of being "unlawful user" in possession of a (legal) handgun. Teague pled guilty to cultivation without waiving his right to appeal, and was sentenced in August 2003 to 18 months in prison.

Although Teague expected his appeal to be mounted immediately, due to a failure by the court to produce a trial transcript, he was forced to serve his entire sentence before the appeal got underway. ASA took up Teague's appeal before his release to fight his original conviction. In February 2006, Teague's Tenth Amendment and due process claims were denied by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, a claim of improper sentencing resulted in his case being remanded to U.S. District Court for re-sentencing to reduce his current 4-year term of supervised release.  At the re-sentencing in 2007, the judge who originally sentenced him decided to end supervised release 15 months early and said on record that it was tragic that Teague was caught in the conflict between state and federal law.