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2 men arrested in Craigslist pot sales

Santa Barbara County sheriff's detectives say the suspects allegedly used the popular website to pitch high-grade marijuana 'clones' for sale.

April 02, 2010|By Catherine Saillant

Craigslist is convenient for more than just would-be buyers and sellers. In Santa Barbara County, detectives are using the popular website to track down alleged illegal drug sales.

On Thursday, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department announced that it had arrested two men on suspicion of pitching high-grade marijuana "clones" for sale.

Though ads for medical marijuana collectives abound on the website, most are targeted at consumers who have a doctor's recommendation and an identification card, as required under state laws.

The men taken into custody in Santa Barbara County were offering hybrid seedlings that had been engineered to increase potency, sheriff's officials said.

Detectives witnessed at least one transaction with each of the men before moving in, said sheriff's spokesman Drew Sugars.

"Some people mistakenly think that the Compassionate Use Act allows them to sell marijuana freely," Sugars said. "That's not how the law was written and Craigslist is not a collective."

On Tuesday, detectives took Barry Herron, 29, of Carpinteria into custody on suspicion of growing, possessing and transporting marijuana for sale.

Investigators found more than 45 marijuana plants and other items at Herron's home that indicated he was selling the herb illegally, Sugars said.

On March 23, detectives arrested Matthew Schneider, 28, on similar charges.

During a search of his Santa Barbara home, investigators found more than 100 marijuana plants, two pounds of processed marijuana and more than $8,000 in cash, Sugars said.

He had another 65 plants and $1,500 in cash at a second residence in Mendocino County, Sugars said.

Authorities said they don't believe the men were working together. But both advertised on Craigslist.

A check of the website shows at least two recent ads in the Goleta, Calif., area offering marijuana clones for sale.

catherine.saillant@latimes.com

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