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Feds target Sacramento pot shop owner and growers

8:01 AM, Sep 16, 2011   |    comments
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R & R Wellness, 75 Quinta Court

SACRAMENTO, CA - Six people connected to a south Sacramento medical marijuana dispensary raided by local authorities in June now face federal charges that carry a potential 40-year prison term.

R & R Wellness owner Bryan Smith and five other men are named in the federal complaint unsealed Thursday.  Among those being charged with conspiracy and manufacturing marijuana are Smith's father, Kelly.

An attorney defending one of the six men told News10 he believes the federal complaint was aimed at sending a message to California's medical pot dispensaries that are pushing the boundaries of state law.

READ: Federal complaint filed against R & R Wellness

A federal drug agent whose investigation led to the criminal complaint said all of the defendants were involved in growing marijuana with the purpose of making as much money as possible.

The criminal probe began last February when Elk Grove police, acting on a tip, busted an indoor growing operation on Lazulite Court that allegedly involved stolen power from SMUD.

The man renting the home, Daniel Goldsmith, told investigators he was working for R & R Wellness.

According to the affidavit, investigators found Kelly Smith's fingerprints on the electrical panel that had been bypassed to divert power around the SMUD meter.

Text messages recovered from Goldsmith's cell phone led authorities to three other alleged co-conspirators, including Goldsmith's father, Bruce.

According to the federal drug agent, Bruce Goldsmith also admitted being a contract grower for R & R Wellness.

On June 16, Elk Grove police and Sacramento County sheriff's deputies raided R & R Wellness on Quinta Court.  A search of Bryan Smith's home uncovered $256,000 in cash in the master bedroom closet.

All of the defendants named in the federal complaint were initally arrested on state charges which are expected to be dropped in favor of a federal prosecution, which carries stiffer penalties.

As a condition of their release from jail following their initial appearance on the new charges, the defendants were ordered to stay clear of any activities involving marijuana cultivation or sales.

News10/KXTV

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