Prosecutor Unhappy Medical Marijuana Shop Ringleader Was Released On Bail; But Is Secretive About Her Reasoning

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Stinkweed
[UPDATED at end] Prosecutors aren't happy that a federal judge gave bail to the San Clemente ringleader of an alleged illegal Southern California medical marijuana dispensary operation.

On Nov. 6, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert N. Block overruled Assistant United States Attorney Christine S. Bautista's detention demand for 56-year-old John Melvin Walker, who was named in an October grand jury indictment of 14 suspects.

Block allowed for Walker's Nov. 7 release after a person named Bill Barkovitz paid a $200,000 surety bond and the defendant agreed to a long series of conditions: surrender of all firearms and ammo, a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, no drug usage, remain in California and submit to random inspection by federal agents.

Bautista's reasoning for seeking to overturn Block's determination is unknown. She redacted her explanation from public view on a document.

Walker's response to Bautista's move is also unknown; his defense lawyer filed his reply under seal.

U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna will consider the government's detention demand inside Santa Ana's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse at a scheduled Nov. 29 hearing.

If Selna agrees with Bautista, Walker--who owned pot shops in Orange and Los Angeles counties--will likely be housed inside the Santa Ana Jail, where federal case defendants most commonly reside.


UPDATE, Nov. 29, 2012: Judge Selna held a hearing regarding Walker's release but issued no ruling and sealed the transcript from public view. He will resume fielding arguments on Dec. 6.

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2 comments
rockyneidhardt
rockyneidhardt

Free Perry brooks forehand !

Facing 25 years for sending a text asking to have a menu updated? Every person at a collective has done that. This guy was lied to by John Walker and I hope he gets his charges dropped because he has 3 kids who need him. He followed state law to a tee but got caught up in these lame outdated marijuana hating laws. FREE BUCKY

malcolmkyle16
malcolmkyle16 topcommenter

When we regulate something we do NOT automatically condone it's use; the regulations concerning alcohol and tobacco are there to protect us from the vast increase in criminality that would otherwise exist if these substances were prohibited.A regulated and licensed distribution network for all mind altering substances would put responsible adult supervision in between children and premature access to drug distribution outlets (illegal street dealers). Regulated and licensed distribution would reflect and respect society's values, thus preventing children obtaining easy access to these dangerous substances. What we need is legalized regulation. What we have now, due to prohibition, is a non-regulated black market to which everybody has access and where all the profits go to organized crime and terrorists.If you support prohibition then you support bank-rolling criminals and terrorists. There's simply no other logical way of looking at it.It is now the duty of every last one of us to insure that the people who are responsible for this shameful situation are not simply left in peace to enjoy the wealth and status that their despicable actions have, until now, afforded them. Former and present Prohibitionists must not be allowed to remain untainted and untouched from the unconscionable acts that they have viciously committed on their fellow citizens.

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