Today, yet another marijuana grower was sentenced for harvesting a crop that adults wish to purchase for their personal fulfillment. Yet another person will spend years behind bars for a crime that now a majority of Americans think should not be a crime. When the wave of legalization washes over California by 2016, this person will still be behind bars for what will be a legally-farmed cash crop.
(CBS Sacramento) U.S. District Judge William Shubb* sentenced 44-year-old Uriel Ochoa-Espindola to 17.5 years in prison for growing tens of thousands of marijuana plants in three different counties in California with his partners and shipping the product across the country with the help of commercial trucks, according to court documents.
Espindola allegedly organized and directed hundreds of pounds of shipments to South Dakota, Colorado, Massachusetts, Washington and North Carolina.
Investigators seized three handguns and nearly 11,000 marijuana plants at the El Dorado County grow site, court documents revealed. Nearly 17,500 marijuana plants were also seized from the Placer County grow site as well as nearly 2,000 marijuana plants at the Tehama County grow site.
Growing 30,000 marijuana plants means Uriel won’t see the outside world again until close to 2031. While he’s in prison, perhaps he’ll get to meet Marquise Montgomery.
(FOX Sacramento) Marquise Montgomery has pleaded no contest to charges of raping and impregnating a severely mentally and physically handicapped woman, and causing great bodily harm.
He faces 8 years in prison for the rape, plus 5 more for causing great bodily harm.
If Uriel does meet Marquise, he’ll have to say goodbye to Marquise sometime in 2026, or possibly earlier, as California is beset by prison overcrowding and court decisions that mandate early release for some prisoners. Not Uriel, however, because he is sentenced under mandatory minimums that make his early release impossible.
* Interesting aside: Judge Shubb was the one who put a block on California’s law that makes “gay conversion therapy” for minors illegal. Those are the usually-religious backed psycho-babble detention centers that “pray away the gay” and berate, humiliate, and demean gay teenagers in an effort to turn them straight. Such “gay conversion therapy” has been widely discredited by the scientific community.