DEA's Case Against Anaheim Landlord Drags On, Courtroom Tempers Flare

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Jay Brockman
As the Weekly has previously reported, the DEA is attempting to seize a $1.5 million Anaheim business complex from a computer engineer and his dentist wife over a $37 pot sale by a former marijuana dispensary tenant. The engineer, Tony Jalali, is being represented by attorney Matthew Pappas, as well as a team from the libertarian law firm Institute For Justice. The case is rapidly turning into a major showdown over the Obama administration's heavy-handed crackdown on California's medical marijuana industry.

The feds have reportedly offered to settle the case if Jalali agrees not to rent to any more cannabis collectives, but he so far has rejected that offer because of various conditions the government has attached to the deal, such as allowing authorities the right to spot inspections. And yesterday, tempers flared in the courtroom after the judge allowed Jalali and his lawyers to go forward with arguments that the attempted asset forfeiture is unconstitutional.

According to Pappas and other witnesses, U.S. Attorney Steven Welk refused to shake Pappas' hand before the court hearing.

"I'm not shaking your hand," Pappas says Welk told him.

"Really? Why not?" Pappas asked. Welk refused to respond.

Then, after the hearing ended with the judge having made two rulings in favor of Jalali, Marla James, who uses a wheelchair, approached Welk and thanked him for sending six DEA agents to serve her with paperwork threatening criminal action if she continued to operate her now-defunct cannabis collective Med-Aid.

At that point, Pappas asked Welk if he would like to discuss the government's proposed settlement offer. "We don't have anything to talk about with you," Pappas says Welk told him. Then Pappas rhetorically asked whether he should tell the judge that Welk had refused to shake his hand. At this point, Pappas says, Welk approached him and began a lecture about the origin of the handshake, how it was invented in 200 BC when two opponents wanted to show that they were unarmed and had no plans to attack. "I'm not shaking your hand," Welk concluded.

Stay tuned for further updates on this important battle.

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10 comments
jerrycook
jerrycook

Lets hope the judge is sane and puts a stop to the insane bought off Fed DEA, DOJ & IRS Terrorists who seem intent on creating war over a harmless but widely useful plant for opposition profits. Throw this whole absurd case out of court!  

plantmaster1907
plantmaster1907

Send 6 DEA's to my door and you will find 6 dead DEA agents. Start fucking killing these agents and they will stop raiding. VERY SIMPLE MATH PEOPLE!!!!

markhopkins435
markhopkins435

a lot of people are just afraid of the government

that's why the government can do what it wants to without  fear from the people it serves

larry357
larry357

We -seriously- need to talk about forming a large militia to protect americans from the federal govenment.  Once have this militia, we can protect our homes - businesses and property from these criminals 'stealing' them from us.  We also need laws that protect citizens from the government stealing from us. We need to form and ratify a constitution and foce it upon our government - wait - we had one, what happend to it?  Oh yea, that's why we need a militia!

letitiapepper
letitiapepper

It's all about the money, isn't it?  The government steals money from its citizens all the time, because it NEEDS the money so it can afford to send SIX DEA agents to the home of a sick woman (with diabetes and an amputated leg, mind you, which is WHY she's in a wheelchair), who, under California law and the 2008 Attorney General Guidelines, LEGALLY once opened a cannabis collective.  

         The states did NOT give the federal government the power to manage medical issues for the states, just like they didn't give the central government the power to manage marriage or to have a standing army (only a standing Navy is legal under the Constitution). 

       Imagine what the world would have been like if we hadn't kept a standing army.  The U.S. is pretty much an island, like England, when compared to Europe.  Standing armies were for INVASIONS, not for defense  -- and that's how the people running our country have used our children and our army: to invade and steal oil from other countries, and all for the benefit of multi-national corporations.  Which is why they need to keep the income tax in place -- which was intended to pay for the CIVIL WAR, not future wars or a standing army.

chezvern
chezvern

This US Attorney Steve Welk is the same one who told Pappas and his assistant Tracie Butcher that they don't send out any warning or notice to landlords whose property they intend to seize because they don't want to diminish the "shock value."  Now he's suggesting he's armed and planning to attack which is why he won't shake hands?  What evil shit is he planning to spring on us next?

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

Maybe we should go protest at Mr Welks office directly.I wonder when Moxley is going to spin this into making it look like the engineer and his dentist wife are hardcore criminals?

traviswilliamhogarth
traviswilliamhogarth

HOLY.... SHITE.... I can't believe the system sometimes. What's with the stick up the ass approach to legal MMJ patients? This is insane! Time for a revolution. Seems with Prop 215, we the people, have spoken and it was legalized under certain conditions. The state has a right to govern itself. Let us!

ethernot
ethernot

Much gratitude and good karma to Messrs. Jalai, Pappas, and the Institute for Justice for standing up to the gestapo.  For the good of all of us, may their courageous efforts prevail.

r92883
r92883

@plantmaster1907 I'll just bet if 6 armed DEA agents showed up at your door you would turn ass up and say put it here.........

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