Probation Search for Speeding Leads to Marijuana, Illegal Firearms at Accused’s House.

By Neha Malhi and Kate Hsu

MODESTO, CA – A defense attorney argued here in Stanislaus County Superior Court Friday that three grams of marijuana were for the accused’s personal use, not for selling purposes, but shreds of evidence appeared to support the prosecution’s inapposite theory.

Kenneth Ray Schendel was charged at his preliminary hearing with a violation of probation and two other counts of possessing marijuana and firearms.

Officer (first name not available) Henry, who conducted the accused’s house search, testified initially that he stopped Schendel for speeding 55 to 65 mph in a 35-mph zone.

And, after checking Schendel records, he found out that Schendel allegedly violated his probation order, which led to a probation search on the accused’s house.

During his search, Officer Henry said he found three grams of marijuana in the kitchen, plants of marijuana being grown in Schendel’s room, and firearms in the backyard.

Officer Henry stated that multiple pieces of evidence support his suspicion the marijuana and methamphetamine were possessed for the purpose of sale, citing packaging material, amount of marijuana and methamphetamine, and the working digital scale.

Officer Henry also stated that, based on his previous training and experiences, individual users would not have the amount of packaging present during the search.

Defense Attorney Martin Baker asked Officer Henry if it was standard procedure to do a probation search in-house for traffic stops. To that, Officer Henry replied, “Yes, if time permits.”

Baker then asked Officer Henry if a marijuana addict can consume more than one gram of marijuana in a day and the officer replied, “Yes.”

Officer Henry also admitted, in response to defense questions, he did not know the number of marijuana plants that can be legally allowed to be grown at home.

The defense also argued the marijuana found in the kitchen has a mold on it, indicating it was there for a long time, as it should be for personal use.

Officer Henry asserted, however, that even though marijuana had mold on it, the fact that it was in one package, and next to it were a couple of other new small empty packages, supports that it was for selling purposes.

The prosecution also stated the fact that there was a whole setup in the accused’s room for growing marijuana plants, maintaining the presence of firearms in the man’s backyard is also a factor and both are standard findings found in the cases of marijuana sellers.

Judge Reeves charged the defendant with two additional counts of possession of marijuana and firearms, and set a preliminary hearing for these two additional counts on April 15.

About The Author

Neha Malhi is graduating from UCLA this summer with BA in Economics. she is from LA, California.

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