Attorney disputes account of pot arrest near Lake Tahoe’s West Shore | SierraSun.com

Attorney disputes account of pot arrest near Lake Tahoe’s West Shore

Adam Jensen
Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; The attorney for a man accused of illegally possessing more than 100 pounds of marijuana disputed Thursday law enforcement’s account of the arrest.

South Lake El Dorado Narcotics Enforcement Team officers arrested Robert Daniels, 62, after he was stopped for speeding near Tahoma and California Highway Patrol officers allegedly found 103 pounds of marijuana in the back of the truck he was driving.

The arrest then led agents to a Chico residence where they allegedly seized an additional 295 pounds of marijuana and 162 and#8220;extremely largeand#8221; marijuana plants.

Daniels’ attorney, Robert Woelfel, said SLEDNET agents improperly joined the marijuana being grown at two adjacent properties, by two different growers, in Chico to reach the numbers.

Daniels never had more than 60 marijuana plants at his property and has and#8220;at least 10and#8221; valid medical marijuana patients associated with the cultivation, Woelfel said.

Daniels possessed and#8220;well underand#8221; the maximum legal amount of medical marijuana allowed under California law, Woelfel said.

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SLEDNET contends Daniels did not have enough medical marijuana patients identified to justify the amount of marijuana he possessed.

The marijuana was headed for the City of Angels 2 collective, said the collective’s owner Gino DiMatteo, who testified at Daniels’ preliminary hearing on Monday.

Although DiMatteo has previously said all of the marijuana he provides to qualified patients at his shop comes from South Lake Tahoe, he said Wednesday that Daniels is a cancer patient and a member of the collective who was growing for ten other members of the collective at the Chico property.

No money was to be exchanged for the marijuana, DiMatteo said.

He said he didn’t realize how much marijuana Daniels was bringing to the collective or that he was driving to the collective the day he was arrested.

Daniels is charged with violations of California’s Health and Safety Code under the name Robert Stafford. It is unclear why he is charged under the other name.

The preliminary hearing in the case began this week and will continue Monday.