Breaking News Blog

Monday, Dec 17 2012 04:14 PM

Former pot shop owner pleads guilty to conspiracy

By BREAKING NEWS BLOG

David Chavez Sr., 53, of Bakersfield, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to distribute marijuana.

According to court documents, Chavez was the treasurer of Nature's Medicinal, a marijuana dispensary. He was also the owner of the property where the business operated.

According to the indictment, between September 2004 and February 2006, the business earned $16 million in gross sales. His son, David Chavez Jr., owned and operated Nature's Medicinal.

Court records show that law enforcement executed search and seizure warrants on the business and personal residences of the father and son on May 1, 2007. When the defendants reopened the dispensary, additional search and seizure warrants were executed again on July 16, 2007, resulting in the seizure of more than 200 pounds of marijuana and marijuana-laced food products, more than $57,000 in cash, and two guns.

Chavez Sr. is scheduled to be sentenced March 18. He faces a mandatory 5-year term in prison and a $2 million fine. Chavez Jr. has pleaded guilty and sentencing is set for Jan. 28.

- Office of U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, Eastern District of California

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