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Cannabis activist/dispensary owner danny trevino sentenced to 16 years

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https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2020/01/michigan-medical-marijuana-seller-gets-prison-federal-law-has-not-changed-judge-says.html

 

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The former owner of medical-marijuana dispensaries in several Michigan cities was sentenced Tuesday, Jan. 28, to nearly 16 years in federal prison.

Danny Trevino, 47, of Lansing, who had Hydroworld dispensaries in Grand Rapids, Flint, Jackson, Lansing and elsewhere, had avoided state criminal and civil penalties over the years but was convicted of multiple federal charges.

“States are changing marijuana laws across the country, certainly that’s true, but federal law has not changed,” U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney said.

Trevino sought the statutory minimum sentence of five years in prison.

Maloney instead sentenced Trevino to 15 years, eight months in prison - at the low end of advisory sentencing guidelines, which ranged from 188 to 235 months.

The sentence upset several family members and pro-marijuana activists who attended the sentencing in Grand Rapids.

“What you saw is a travesty,” Detroit resident Richard Clement said. His shirt read: “#GETNORML,” “#WARONDRUGS” and “CANNACURES.”

He said it was difficult to reconcile what he called a harsh sentence in a state where marijuana is legal. He and others think Trevino was targeted because he is Hispanic.

“This was totally racist,” a woman said, leaving the courthouse. “None of the (other dispensaries) ever get raided.”

She was with Trevino’s family but refused to give her name.

“It’s just not fair,” another supporter, Sydney Krey, said.

 

Trevino, who has operated dispensaries since 2010, was convicted in an August jury trial of 10 felony charges, including conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess marijuana and maintaining a drug-involved premises.

He was not allowed to use the state’s medical-marijuana law as a defense to the federal charges.

Nonetheless, the government said, he acted outside of the boundaries of the state medical-marijuana law.

Defense attorney Nicholas Bostic called that a “fallacy.”

He said that Trevino was successful in challenging state complaints after he had been arrested and the subject of several search warrants. He was arrested in April 2014 in Grand Rapids for delivery or manufacture of marijuana and maintaining a drug house but charges were dropped a month later, court records showed.

He fought forfeitures of funds seized by police that were ultimately returned by state courts. Trevino’s businesses were raided 16 times between 2010 and 2016, the government said.

He provided the state with store records and tax records that showed his businesses brought in nearly $3 million.

 

“He thought he was legal,” Bostic told the judge. He said his client, whose previous drug convictions prevented him from being a caregiver, oversaw the operation.

He said that every single sale of medical marijuana at his businesses would have been legal under laws in 33 states and the District of Columbia that allow medical or recreational marijuana.

Trevino earlier told MLive: "How could I not have been in compliance if I was acquitted and found not guilty. We were winning and they didn’t charge us, so we kept going.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel McGraw said Trevino knew he acted illegally under federal law. He called Trevino “defiant, unrepentant and undeterred from committing the current federal crimes.”

After federal investigators used a search warrant at one of his locations in 2016, Trevino posted on Facebook: “I guess Hydroworld is illegal. Lol OK.”

McGraw said Trevino acted as though marijuana – legalized in 2018 for recreational use in Michigan – was always legal.

Trevino was “told time and time again that it was illegal and your honor, he simply didn’t care. He didn’t care. He kept operating," the prosecutor said.

 

The judge said his concern was Trevino’s conduct under federal law.

“I fully recognize that the landscape has changed in many states in this country,” Maloney said.

“The fact is, marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance.”

He noted that Congress has eliminated the mandatory minimum prison sentence for crack cocaine but has not acted on marijuana.

He said Trevino “had to know he was on the radar screens of federal authorities.”

The judge ordered Trevino to serve four years on supervised release once his prison term ends. He also fined Trevino $11,000.

Detroit police cracking down on illegal marijuana sales, purchases after spike in violence

Hydro World owner says he will fight any charges from recent raid

 

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When I think about Danny I think about back in 2009. The Normal meeting at Randys in Houghton Lake. Greg standing on a table talking about the law because the house was full. I yelled, "Anyone have clones for sale"?  Sure enough Danny yelled back, "I have clones". Went over and shook his hand. That's how Danny was, always had it, whatever you asked for. Always striving to meet the need regardless of the rules. After all, we all were used to being 'illegal'. That's who we were/are all our lives, illegals. Risking everything to have something that always should have been a basic right. 

Edited by Restorium2

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Had a thought just yesterday that if there wouldn't have been a law against cannabis I would have had a lot less reason to hate law enforcement in my early years. 

Thinking about that made me realize that younger folks these days, with cannabis legal, may not grow up with the rift between them and cops.

Then you get this stuff still going on where cannabis gets blamed for other criminal activity, pure PROPAGANDA remains.

Cannabis isn't causing this, people are. Bad people doing bad stuff with cannabis in the background. 

I see that law enforcement is still missing a HUGE opportunity to mend fences. Sad. Hiding behind federal law still to put people away they hate because they are involved with cannabis. 

Leave pot out of it and make real cases about real crime. Then you get the real criminals off the streets and quit making enemies of people who understand how bad it is to take away basic rights under false pretenses. 

 

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On 1/29/2020 at 8:05 AM, Restorium2 said:

Had a thought just yesterday that if there wouldn't have been a law against cannabis I would have had a lot less reason to hate law enforcement in my early years. 

Thinking about that made me realize that younger folks these days, with cannabis legal, may not grow up with the rift between them and cops.

It definitely puts a strain on the relationship when LEO breaks down your door, kicks your butt, robs you, and then locks you in a cage.

Hopefully cannabis will be out of the mix soon but I'm sure our beloved government will soon find something to replace it with in their war on people.

Edited by Wild Bill

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I just cant believe the length of time.  Yeah, he grew some plants and sold and paid taxes on 3 million of income. 

These child molestation cases from predator priests who accosted dozens of victims are walking with a year or less.  There's been many in the past year.

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