DA Fights Returning Cannabis in Fullerton Case

Paul Fullerton poses with some of his fire gear in his shop

Paul Fullerton, who a year ago took a plea agreement in his charges that he sold cannabis to an undercover YONET agent in February 2016, returned to court on Thursday attempting to get his product returned.  However, Judge David Reed ruled against his attorney’s motions, in a ruling they believe runs contrary to state law.

On January 3, 2019, Judge Reed ordered Yolo County Deputy DA Kyle Hasapes to return the cannabis to Mr. Fullerton.  On Thursday, that order “was rescinded.”

In the raid with at least 16 agents involved with YONET, around 29 pounds of medical cannabis were seized from Mr. Fullerton.  The defense asked for roughly 18 pounds of that back – six each for Paul Fullerton and two other collective members.

On Thursday they offered to take back 12 pounds for Mr. Fullerton, which represented a one-year supply, as noted in the doctor’s note provided to the court.

“Mr. Fullerton and Mrs. Fullerton were not provided with any of the cannabis,” Attorney Ashley Bargenquast, who represented the Fullertons on the matter, told the Vanguard.  “This was contrary to the order from January 3 and was based on a case that I don’t believe should have ruled the day in this case.”

She said that the judge ruled based on case law provided by the DA that said “the compassionate use act did not give the judge authority to return cannabis.”

She argued, “Cannabis is returned all over the state of California every day.  But in this case, the judge chose to use that case – People v. Chavez – as the ruling case rather than subsequent case law because there was a disposition in this case, rather than a full dismissal.”

She noted that there was in fact a full dismissal against Mrs. Fullerton.  This, she said, “was not treated any differently than the outcome for Paul (Fullerton).”

The Vanguard learned that there is a March 14 hearing where they have filed a motion with an order to show cause (OSC) about how the January 3 order “was treated.”  The defense believes that Mr. Hasapes acted improperly in how he treated Judge Reed’s order from January 3, where it was believed Mr. Hasapes unilaterally told the evidence handlers not to release the cannabis despite the valid order from January 3.

She said they are still deciding how to respond to the decision not to return Mr. Fullerton’s property – and whether to file an appeal with the appellate court.

Paul Fullerton, whose saga started three years ago last month with a raid on his shop and his home, was even more outspoken.

Mr. Fullerton noted that, on Thursday, “I was supposed to submit a letter from a doctor stating the amount of cannabis that I need. The doctor from UC Davis medical group stated due to my injury to my spine I would need 1/2 to 1 pound per month, the amount of cannabis that was (needed).”

Mr. Fullerton noted that he had a state certified collective and his paperwork was in order and valid at the time of the raid.

Paul Fullerton had been a decorated captain at the UC Davis Fire Department when a work-related injury led him to use medical cannabis in order to manage his pain.

He told the Vanguard that “my injury was so severe that I am not able to work as a firefighter and (was eligible) to get a full disability pension.”

Along with his attorneys, he believes that the case law shows that the cannabis should have been returned.

He told the Vanguard, “Again this was a witch hunt and every action by the DA and the judge prove that it was just that … it’s sad with all the research that is done on cannabis that Yolo County is so behind the times … 8,000 weed cases have been reversed in the last year and I’m still fighting in Yolo County …”

Last year, rather than continue to fight the case, he took a misdemeanor plea agreement that surprisingly led him to serve 90 days of house arrest and three years of formal probation.

He got caught up in a sting operation when an undercover agent convinced him to sell him a small quantity of cannabis to a man who had convinced him that his wife was dying of cancer.

In an interview last year with the Vanguard he said, “Helping the cancer patient got to me.  I’m a very empathetic guy.  I’m passionate because of what I did my whole life.”

But, as Mr. Fullerton pointed out, between his full disability pension and a court settlement of nearly three-quarters of a million he received for his workplace injury, why would he need to risk it by selling a small quantity of cannabis?

—David M. Greenwald reporting

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts


  1. Tia Will

    I feel so much safer due to the actions of the DA and judicial system in Yolo County. Thank you all for the wise use of our tax dollars.

    ( Dripping sarcasm)

    1. Bill Marshall

      Perhaps they make money from confiscated ‘evidence’ that “goes missing”?

      I pretty much doubt that’s what is going on, in this case, but it has been a reason, elsewhere in this country… and a lot of places in the world…

      What is the street value of a pound of ‘medical cannabis’?  Just curious…

      1. Paul Fullerton

        I believe they do not have the cannabis .. if they do not have then they have to pay for it .. I believe they were covering there asses from having to write a check ..  at the time of the raid a lb of outdoor was 1,000-1400 per lb … greenhouse was  1300-1800 per lb and indoor was 1800-2500 per lb ….. they also took 112 1/2 gram concentrate cartridges that were worth 20.00 a piece …  out of the 29lbs seized 22 lbs were owned by three members a little of 6.5 lbs each…  3lbs were moldy and no good and the other 4 pounds were still on the vine and was two weeks from harvest ( indoor) 8’X8’ canopy state law allows 10×10 canopy so I was below state law on my indoor too

        current market value is 500-800 per lb outdoor , greenhouse is 900-1400 and indoor is 1400-1900 … one love

        1. Bill Marshall

          Thank you for the info on valuations… interesting about the price drop since legalization… it would appear that folk who said legalization would reduce incentives for drug ‘crime’, were correct.

  2. Joseph Wisgirda

    Wow doesn’t look like Jeff Reisig and Gary Richter have a whole lot of public support anymore.

    Maybe they should stop wasting our tax dollars by going after people like Paul. It’s too bad that Reisig didn’t lose the last election, his office runs things like it’s still the 50s and legalization and prop 215 and 64 never happened, which NOBODY HERE WANTS. Too bad the will of the people is no longer represented in the Yolo county DA’s office. This kind of travesty NEVER WOULD HAVE HAPPENED UNDER DEAN JOHANNSEN.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for