Obama Administration Drops Asset Forfeiture Case Against Anaheim Landlord

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Jay Brockman
The U.S. Attorney's office has formally dropped its case against the Anaheim landlord who stood to lose his $1.5 million retirement property over a $37 pot sale in a dispensary he'd already evicted, a case first exposed by the Weekly in February of this year. The feds had been seeking to drop the case for months, but had insisted that the landlord, Tony Jalali, a software engineer, agree to surprise inspections and to never rent to another marijuana dispensary.

Jalali, who is represented by both Matthew Pappas and the Washington D.C.-based lnstitute for Justice, had refused to agree to those terms. In the deal reached today, the feds have dropped all conditions except one: that Jalali not demand that the U.S. government pay his attorneys fees. Even more importantly, the feds have dropped the case with prejudice, meaning that they cannot threaten to seize his property again.

Today, the feds also dropped similar cases against three other landlords, Dr. Mark Burcaw, who owns two properties in Santa Ana, including one that currently houses a dispensary, as well as Tom Woo and finally, Walter and Diane Botsch, who stood to lose a property that had been renting to a dispensary in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles. Although both the government and the landlords have signed the deal, attorney Pappas told the Weekly that the court needs to officially sign off on the agreement, which is expected to occur momentarily.

"There will be no refiling of these actions," Pappas said, adding that he believes the deal was reached thanks to the Obama administration's recent ratcheting down on the war on marijuana, both medical and recreational, which suddenly highlighted the incongruous attacks on citizen and patient rights being carried out by the U.S. attorney's office in Southern California, as the Weekly has been reporting.

"It's pretty amazing for them to come up and dismiss the cases, pretty unusual," Pappas remarked. "I think it's a major victory for patients, [and] for citizens in general."

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19 comments
18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

Good, now apologize for deliberately dropping weapons of mass defamation on Hispanics here in the big OC.

Nicholas Schou
Nicholas Schou

Click the links, read the original story, it clearly reports Anaheim's hypocrisy and responsibility for this mess. As for your racism diatribe: oy vey...

Travis Yarbrough
Travis Yarbrough

You are totally full of shit !!! Feds only come in if called by the DA. Blame the DA you dumb fucks

Travis Yarbrough
Travis Yarbrough

That is pure bullshit !!! That building is NOT at all important you racist pieces of shit. The Feds get involved if called in. Those are what is known as FACTS

Nicholas Schou
Nicholas Schou

We don't endorse candidates, but always namedrop, esp. when highlighting injustices, amen.

Jack O'Loughlin
Jack O'Loughlin

haha another loss for obama maybe people will just start to realize that's all he does....

thraxz13
thraxz13

Since they cannot seize his property again... Will he work with Collectives or Retail sales of marijuana when it becomes legal?

Michael Moon
Michael Moon

Any follow up on all the other stuff seized during the OC raids of the past couple years?

Cheryl Lynn
Cheryl Lynn

Accusing someone of being a racist because they don't like the POTUS makes you sound simply ignorant.

Agnostic Libertarian
Agnostic Libertarian

To be clear, racism does exists, lets not diminish the meaning of the word by trying to make ever utterance of disagreement of people from different cultures, race, colors, religions get spun into some kind of prejudicial attack.

Agnostic Libertarian
Agnostic Libertarian

Sorry, OC Weekly, That is what I had meant. Is it no less racist to play the race card for having a difference of opinion with someone who happens to be a different race? Especially when they are using Federal law to over ride State Law. I call Bush, Bozo the Bush, too bad I'm a white guy otherwise that could be spun to be "racist" too.

Agnostic Libertarian
Agnostic Libertarian

Insinuating that a President is being called out as being a bad President because of his race makes you sound like a left-wing racist.

Jay Lukes
Jay Lukes

Any criticism of Obama and you're labeled a right-wing racist. One hell of a safety ney you got there.

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

When he's targeting people who are following California state law and keeping sick folks from their medicine, Obummer is the nicest word we have for him.

Brennan King
Brennan King

Well, good, but referring to him as Obummer just makes you sound like a right-wing racist.

paullucas714
paullucas714

Someone needs to call Jerry Cruger, the owner of the property that holds Fathers Pub and Grill in Orange at the corner of 17th St and Tustin Avenue. The County of Orange levied a several thousand dollar levee against his property for the crime of renting to a dispensary several years ago after he had evicted them at the behest of the County which is supposed to be in his side per the MMPA of 2003. I also think that this would be good case for Todd Spitzer to demonstrate his chops of sticking up for victims of crime including crimes by the government.

Quick! Someone call Lou Correa and Todd Spitzer!

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

I'm referring of course to the cops and federales of OC

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