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United States v. Sparky Rose (2005-2009, Los Angeles, CA)

posted Jan 29, 2013, 9:51 PM by The Editor   [ updated Jun 6, 2013, 3:36 AM ]
Federal agents began investigating Sparky Rose in 2005, after the Los Angeles Police Department raided a West Hollywood medical marijuana dispensary called the “Yellow House” that he was running as part of the “Compassionate Caregivers” chain. Rose then went on to become the director of “New Remedies Cooperative” in San Francisco, which was raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration on October 3, 2006. After searching the dispensary and various associated grow sites, agents reported seizing $125,000 in cash and 13,000 marijuana plants. In addition to Rose, fourteen other New Remedies staff were arrested. All fifteen are charged with manufacture and distribution of marijuana, and Rose was additionally charged with money laundering. The list of those arrested included director Sparky Rose, 36; plus James Daley, 56, Sean Anderson, 22; Johnny Seto, 32; Mark Miller, 53; Tracy Smith, 32; Kevin Ellis, 28; Jason Matthewson, 29; Alfaro Munoz-Bebullida, 33; Steven Navarro, 35; Mistalee Chiame Wang, 25; Jaime Perreira, 26; Ben Blair, 31; Irene Matsuoka, 27; and Amber Froines, 26.

Calling Rose “a major statewide pot supplier,” the U.S. Attorney charged him with various counts for the manufacture and distribution of marijuana. He was also charged with money laundering, based on the government’s accusation that he laundered over $3 million from marijuana proceeds in order to supply himself with a $9600/week salary and various luxury items such as a Porsche convertible. Rose maintained that these calculations were grossly inaccurate and denied that he and his employees were profiteering from medical marijuana. However, Rose eventually accepted a plea deal and, in March 2008, was sentenced to 37 months on fourteen marijuana-related counts. Charges against the other defendants were dismissed. He served his time in the prison camp at Lompoc, California, and was released to a Los Angeles area halfway house in August 2009.

Last updated January 31, 2013 by Lex Libreman for WEED WARS: United States v. Marijuana. Originally published August 24, 2009 by Vanessa Nelson for www.medicalmarijuanaofamerica.com (now defunct).
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