Judge Gives cannabis “entrepreneur” 22 months for bribery of local official

Google News reports

But as he acquired hundreds of acres of land to grow the product and opened storefronts along California’s Central Coast to sell it, Despring’s ambition led him to bribery.

His target was a county supervisor who, in exchange for cash and other allowances, would advance measures that furthered the interests of his secret beneficiary and tried to strangle those that did not.

After a lengthy hearing on Friday, US District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. sentenced Despring to 22 months in prison for bribing a government official and filing false tax returns.

“The troubling thing about this case is that it goes to the heart of the government process,” said Birotte, noting that City Hall, just a few blocks from the Los Angeles City Courthouse, has several council members. Accused of taking bribe.

In Despring’s case, bribes paid and favors done have left the public with the impression, “that, ‘Hey, this is how it was supposed to be, but that’s the way it’s done.’”

Despring began growing cannabis in small quantities around 2007, when he received a prescription for medical marijuana, one of his attorneys, Sandra Brown Bodner, wrote in a sentencing memo.

He bought 40 acres in the mountains east of Santa Maria, living on his property in a trailer with his two dogs and earning a reputation for growing “first-class produce,” his attorney wrote.

Despring told the court on Friday that his life was “focused on building a business that was too big to fail. No matter what was taken from me, I was always my family, my colleagues, my employees.” And I have the ability to find safety for myself at the end of the line.”

he confessed to the crime For bribery and filing false tax returns in July.

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‘Cannabis King’ sentenced to 22 months in prison for bribing San Luis Obispo politician