Remember this house tour in May?
We have some answers now – hat tip to Mt. T and GW for sending this along, from the U-T:
Federal authorities unsealed a complaint Friday against a dozen people accused of running a marijuana distribution ring that grew the drug in a vacant Rancho Santa Fe mansion, and sold it through a medical marijuana dispensary in San Diego that was raided last fall.
The complaint alleges that the ring sold hundreds of pounds of marijuana from at least May 2009 to now. Much of the drug was sold via the Green Kross Collective in Pacific Beach and the Downtown Kush Lounge in San Diego, according to a statement of facts signed by an agent with the Narcotics Task Force attached to the complaint.
It identified Joshua Jacob Hester as the alleged organizer and leader of the ring. He was arrested Friday in a spacious West Hollywood home.
Prosecutors said the ring used the state law that allows medical marijuana to be sold under certain circumstances as a “shield” to run what they allege was nothing more than a storefront marijuana retail sales business.
At one point in April of this year, he offered Green Kross Collective for sale on craigs-list.
The complaints also says in May 2007 Hester purchased a home at 15702 Circo Diegueno in Rancho Santa Fe for $2 million, using his then girlfriend Kelsey Wiedenhoefer as a straw buyer.
The mansion was used as a place to secretly grow marijuana. In May, federal agents with a search warrant found a hidden door behind a bookshelf in the house. The door led to two rooms where 89 marijuana plants were growing.
Also Friday, seven search warrants were served as part of the investigation, five in San Diego and two in Los Angeles.
(It’s currently marked as a ‘contingent’ short sale, with list price on the range $1.2 to $1.35 million. House was purchased in May, 2007 for $2,050,000 and 90% financed by WaMu)