Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

L.A. medical pot dispensary may get back seized funds

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concludes the federal government could not prove the money was tied to illegal sales.

October 21, 2009|John Hoeffel

A Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary that was raided four years ago by police could receive $186,416 after a panel of federal appeals judges ruled Tuesday that the government could not seize the cash.

The three judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded the federal government could not prove the money was tied to illegal sales.

On March 15, 2005, a police officer visited the United Medical Caregivers Clinic. Staff provided paperwork to show it was operating under the state's medical marijuana law.

When the department applied for a search warrant, it failed to disclose that information. Police seized the cash in a raid, but no charges were filed.

Scott Feil, the clinic's chief executive, filed a motion to reclaim the money and suppress evidence from the warrant. A federal district court found the warrant affidavit was "misleading," but a forfeiture judgment was entered. Feil appealed.

Barred from using evidence from the search, the government primarily relied on a declaration from Feil. But the appellate panel said the declaration could not be used because it stemmed from "illegal activity" by Los Angeles police.

--

john.hoeffel@latimes.com

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|