420 College attorney, William McPike’s home gets raided by Sheriff’s department.

MADERA CA- RAID ON ATTORNEY – Friday morning at 9 AM, September 18th, 2015, prominent medical marijuana defense attorney, William McPike, opened the door of his residence to find a dozen uniformed Madera Deputy sheriffs with Sgt Larry Rich brandishing a search warrant -who had just gotten out of a white unmarked vehicle-and demanding access to McPike’s home/office. McPike does not own the propery, but was still singled out. McPike refused any compliance check.

Rich, with no warrant, unchained the gate earlier in the week and drove his in unmarked car onto the property to conduct what he described as a compliance check on the private collective garden. McPike provided his state ID card and corresponding paperwork acknowledging his status and the other collective members as medical marijuana patients and membership in a private collective. The main member is an amputee and a Director of a Veteran’s non-profit charity involving service dogs. She has a Dr. Courtney recommendation for 500 plants.

On Friday’s raid, a criminal warrant signed by Judge Jim Oakley, who in private practice, offered McPike use of his office.  Once becoming a Judge, Oakley presided over Celli v  Robinson.  McPike’s representation for Mr. Celli was for the return of 19 ounces of medical cannabis. Judge Oakley failed to recuse himself even though his secretary had helped McPike make up the order for return of the cannabis. Oakley did disclose that he presided over the marriage of the Assistent District Attorney opposing the return. A 3 day trial ended with Judge Oakley finding that due to a conflict with state law and federal law Chief of Police Robinson did not violate the return order.  This was back in 2003 or 2004, beforE people vs Kha decision of 2007. 
 
The warrant alleged that McPike was participating in felonious activities on the property and was intending to commit a more felonious offenses. Ironically this warrant was not offered to Judge Oakley by Sgt Rich but it was offered by MADNET Team Sgt Bradlee Dorr, who never came for any compliance check. The warrant said to break into any safes, take computers, High Times magazines, etc. This is not what one does to an attorney, who has confidential client records.

McPike said, “I was told first that I was violating a zoning ordinance and then told I was violating an electrical code ordinance, I asked for more information and was given no further explanation.”

According to McPike authorities then went out to the garden where they seized approximately 30 plants. McPike stated that an officer gave him a receipt for 99 seized plants. When the officer was questioned about the inflated plant count, he stated that they found three root balls intertwined in each cut plant which meant that each single plant was to be counted as three separate plants.

McPike adds, “The officers never tested any of the plants to determine whether they were hemp or cannabis. Sergeant Rich did however, make a point to have deputies put six dried plants in the trunk of his unmarked police vehicle.”

McPike states, “I plan to fight all of this; I’m well within my legal right to grow plans as I’m part of a collective. The Madera County zoning ordinance states it is lawful to have plants in a 120 square foot space on private property. One member of my collective is an amputee who has to soak in a hemp bath to stave off infection; her doctor determined that she’s entitled to growing up to 500 plants annually in order to meet her treatment needs. The other paperwork provides each patient with 90 plants, that alone accounts for the mere 30 plants on my property. They brought a criminal warrant to search my residence but when questioned on specifics only said that I was in violation of county ordinances.”

McPike currently practices law (for 35 years) and consults for 420 College, an educational institution that instructs cannabis business owners on the ways in which to legally operate collectives and cooperatives. In June 2010 he was featured on the cover of the National Law Journal alongside Supreme Court nominee Elana Kagan.

McPike believes the intent here was to make county ordinance issues appear like criminal matters to the Judge. McPike says, “The whole thing is rather suspicious and I intend to get to the bottom of it.” No arrests were made, no citations given, and no fines assessed.

When asked about next step McPike said, ” I’m going to get a copy of the affidavit to determine whether I’ll file a damage claim, (the amputee is filing) I’m also going to get my plants inspected to test the validity of the ‘plant balls’ claim, this is far from over.”

420 College will be hosting a seminar on marijuana business in Pasadena on October 17 & 18 and Sacramento Occtober 24 & 25, and San Diego on November 7 * 8, of 2015.

Speak Your Mind

*