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United States v. Steele Smith (2007-present, Garden Grove, CA)

posted Jan 30, 2013, 10:18 PM by The Editor   [ updated Feb 8, 2013, 2:48 AM ]
On November 1, 2007, the DEA raided the home of Steele Smith, director of C-3 Collective in Garden Grove, and seized around 350 marijuana plants.  At the same time, DEA agents raided C-3 Collective and the home of Alexander Valentine, where agents seized over 1,000 marijuana plants in various stages of growth.  DEA agents arrested Steele Smith, his wife Theresa Smith, Alexander Valentine and Dennis Lalonde, all of whom faced charges of conspiring to manufacture at least 1,000 marijuana plants.  . All but Theresa, who served five months, were in federal prison for nearly a year, including Valentine, a 21 year-old-patient with Elephant-man’s syndrome.

All defendants face 10-year sentences. In April 2010, Judge Cormac J. Carney ruled that if any defendant chooses to testify, they can testify as to the context of why they did what they did, even if it involves medical marijuana issues under state law; however the jury will still be instructed that any testimony involving medical marijuana will not be a defense. Trial has been continued countless times.