Grand Jury Probes Isleton Pot Farm Plan
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ISLETON, Calif. (CBS13/AP) – Officials in the small California farming town of Isleton are facing legal scrutiny over their licensing of a medical marijuana growing operation to raise revenue for the struggling city.
The mayor, city manager, police chief and others have been subpoenaed by Sacramento County prosecutors to testify before a grand jury about their ties to a pot farm.
“It’s unusual in my 35 years in law enforcement to see a blanket subpoena for a whole city basically government,” said Isleton Police Chief Rick Sullivan.
An Isleton City Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening was canceled because everyone who was supposed to be there spent the day in court.
Isleton City Manager Bruce Pope, who has also been subpoenaed, is stunned by the probe and says no one knows who exactly is being targeted.
“Unprofessional, out of control, over the top,” said Pope when asked to describe the situation. “I’ve never seen anything like it.
Attorneys instructed all the city employees to plead the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination. Although, two people were given immunity and did testify at the grand jury.
A letter to the City Council from District Attorney Jan Scully’s office said the decision to allow the farm likely breaks state and federal laws.
Isleton gets $25,000 a month in fees in exchange for allowing the medical marijuana farm and there are rumors swirling that city leaders pocketed cash to give the pot far the green light.
Marijuana is banned by U.S. law but allowed for medical use under a California measure.
The farm on the edge of this town of 800 about 40 miles south of Sacramento is set to open this summer. The farm is being run by Delta Allied Growers which is owned by the nephew of jazz-great Dave Brubek.
Grand jury testimony continues today and is expected to last through the week.