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Man faces charges for marijuana cultivation operation

A 32-year-old man was arrested by Morgan Hill Police and charged with felony marijuana cultivation. The operation was discovered after a code enforcement officer noticed many changes to the electrical system in a commercial building that was housing the operation.

The 32-year-old man had taken steps to avoid detection and subsequent drug charges by attempting to mask the odor and not using business permits for the irrigation and air filtration systems. Officers seized approximately 30 pounds of processed marijuana and 2,775 plants. In California, it is generally illegal to plant, harvest or prepare marijuana plants.

A second search warrant for the man's residence resulted in the confiscation of growing paraphernalia and marijuana. The case is a joint effort between the Morgan Hill Police and the Unified Narcotic Enforcement Team, which is a state task force that helps localities fight drug trafficking.

A conviction for felony marijuana cultivation can lead to up to three years in a county jail and up to a $50,000 fine. The state of California can also take prior convictions into consideration and enhance the sentence to require prison time in a state facility. Due to the severity of the fines and prison times, an individual facing this charge may wish to allow a criminal attorney to review their case. An attorney can make sure the warrants and the search were conducted in the correct manner. Rules governing search and seizure are very strict, and if police officers failed to follow certain rules, it may be possible to reduce or dismiss the charges.

Source: NBC Bay Area, "Morgan Hill PD Seize 2,775 Marijuana Plants," March 30, 2013

Source: Find Law, "California Drug Cultivation Laws," 2013

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