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United States v. Ronald Naulls (2007-2011, Riverside County)

posted Jan 29, 2013, 9:59 PM by The Editor   [ updated Jan 31, 2013, 3:07 AM ]
A church-going family man who used medical marijuana to ease chronic pain from injuries sustained in a 2001 car accident, Ronald Naulls already had two successful careers - one as an IT consultant and another in real estate - when (in early 2006) he established the Healing Nations Collective in Corona (Riverside County) to save fellow patients the hours-long drive to Los Angeles for medicine.

Healing Nations was a model collective that obtained a seller’s permit from the state Board of Equalization and was paid taxes regularly - amounting to several hundred thousand dollars a year - even when loose tax regulations allowed other dispensaries to slip through the cracks. Proceeds from the dispensary went to local and national cancer organizations, including American Cancer Society and God’s Kitchen.

Nevertheless, at 5:50 a.m., July 17, 2007, after a year of successful zoning litigation with the city, Naulls's home and the collective were invaded by DEA agents armed with shotguns, automatic rifles - even helicopters. They seized everything:  His property. All of his personal accounts.  All of the collective's assets. Naulls was arrested and is now facing federal prosecution for distribution of medical cannabis.

But that wasn't the worst of it. County child protective services came along on the raid and took Naulls's three little girls, ages 1, 3, and 5, and charged him and his wife with child endangerment. They weren't even accused of breaking any state laws.

When Naulls spoke to his children in their confidential foster home, the big sister said,

"Daddy, we're ready to come home now, we promise to be good."

After a grueling 5 weeks, the girls were returned to their parents by the state judge over the objection of CPS.  Mrs. Naulls was forced to plead guilty to felony child endangerment or face trial because of the presence of medicine in the home, and is currently serving her probation.  A pre-trial hearing for Ronald Naulls was scheduled for October 13, 2009 in front of Judge Stephen Larsen in the U.S. District Court located at 3470 Twelfth Street in Riverside, CA 92501.

On August 30, 2010 Naulls was sentenced to six month's home confinement and almost $15,000 restitution for tax evasion.