By Anna Zheng
SACRAMENTO, CA – Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Goodman warned two defendants facing illegal marijuana manufacturing felony charges of the severity of the charges—but both pleaded no contest.
On April 18, 2018, defendants Gary Gill and Obaid Zarie allegedly each committed a felony violation of section 11379 of the Health and Safety Code by unlawfully manufacturing concentrated cannabis.
Upon inspection, officers said they found a butane honey oil lab, which contained approximately 70 new cans of butane, a propane stove, Pyrex dishes, butane honey oil, conversion tubes, and suspected butane honey oil residue.
It was noted by the prosecution that “the materials recovered were indicative of a laboratory in which they would manufacture butane honey oil or concentrated cannabis in violation
of Health and Safety Code 11379(a).”
Judge Goodman informed the defendants about the severity of their actions by reiterating the number of years they could potentially be held in custody.
“You’re pleading to an offense that could carry a maximum of seven years in custody. So you’re going to be on probation for two years if you violate the terms and conditions of probation and you could be sentenced up to the maximum of seven years. Do you understand that?” the judge said.
Given that a felony conviction is a sentence that would forever impact their lives long after having time served in custody, Judge Goodman added, “You also need to understand that by being convicted of a felony, you’re going to be barred for life for owning and possessing a firearm or ammunition. Is that understood?”
Even though Judge Goodman lamented the unfortunate consequences Gill and Zarie could be faced with, both defendants decided to ultimately plead no contest, the same as a guilty plea for sentencing purposes.
Since the legalization of marijuana, the illegal marijuana market has continued to significantly increase over the last decade. Illegal manufacturers and distributors could be faced with the same outcomes as Gill and Zarie if caught.
Many of these illegal markets continue to thrive due to the high prices charged by legal recreational markets. Marijuana consumers, who could not afford to purchase legal cannabis, are thus able to do so for a much cheaper price.
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