DEA Scores in Massive Laguna Beach-LA-Las Vegas Marijuana Case

laguna beach pot bust savages.jpg
Fiction sometimes hits home
An incredibly profitable Laguna Beach marijuana operation underway while Hollywood director Oliver Stone ironically filmed Savages in the heavenly coastal Orange County village has cost a man his freedom. 

Following a 2012 arrest, Richard Ashley Parker eventually took a plea bargain for his role in a $600,000 a month pot grow house operation that involved players in Hollywood, North Hollywood, Thousand Palms and Las Vegas, and a national drug distribution network. 

Parker isn't new to crime. In 2002, federal agents won convictions against him for operating a mortgage loan con game that stole $13 million from 112 victims. He received a prison sentence of 57 months. 

Within a year of his release, Parker served with his wife Lisa as principal participants in the pot scheme by aiding in money laundering and interstate narcotics distribution in places like Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, according to court records.

Parker had no clue that undercover, Los Angeles-based Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents were working with at least one confidential informant who secretly proved information about the operation in hopes of remaining in the U.S. following criminal convictions and potential deportation.

This month inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana, U.S. District Judge James V. Selna declined a prosecutor's request for a 51-month prison sentence for Parker.

Instead, he handed the drug dealer a 41-month trip and three years of supervised probation upon his return to society. 

Selna gave Parker until noon on April 30 to surrender to U.S. marshals. 

Others arrested in the case--Parker's wife Lisa, Garrick BealAndre Nevin Wegner--have acknowledged guilt and await sentencing, according to court records. 
 
One accused participant, Nicholas Lopez, is free on bail but hasn't confessed to any crime.

Eliyahu Marciano (AKA "Lucky") was named in the government's original complaint, but there's no indication that the Los Angeles man is being pursued unless his status is shielded in sealed portions of the case.

No word on what the defendants thought of Stone's wild tale of a Laguna Beach pot operation based on a novel by Don Winslow.

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4 comments
xwagner76
xwagner76

Can the DEA help the FBI prosecute even a single "too big to fail" banker for gaming and crashing the US economy? IMHO weed is less harmful that soda pop or beer. Or fried foods. And apparently (brace yourself) THC CURES CANCER. Google "Run From The Cure". Yet the government doesn't want to hear about that WHILE AT THE SAME TIME they hold a patent for potential medical uses of dope!!! We're well into Joan-Crawford levels of insanity. 


"DEA scores in massive laguna blah blah blah" How much did they spend on this little sortie? Who benefited? The DEA exists to keep its budget fat. In a free country, people ought to be, well, free to do as they damned well please provided it doesn't harm others.

Like what the bankers did. That hurt US citizens. And not  a single one of them has been prosecuted.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

Dear DEA, perhaps you can help. I'm trying to figure out why people like Mike Carona, while engaging in activities that garnered him a federal prison term and who paled around with ex-cocaine traffickers and assorted interesting folk in Las Vegas, harassed the crap out of me using his sheriffs deputies WHILE I was risking my life in Bogota, Colombia on police engineering projects for the American company of retired Rockwell International engineers / American heroes. 

Thanks

Nabil Nathie
Nabil Nathie

Useless ass DEA. Go stop the real drug dealers. Or you too weak for that?

nedmadden
nedmadden

@Nabil Nathie 

Why would they get involved with someone who might shoot them?  Much easier to do pot busts.

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