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Plea deals reached in Tacoma medical marijuana case

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on March 4, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
March 4, 2011 12:49 pm

Five people accused of running an illegal network of pot-growing operations tied to a Tacoma medical marijuana dispensary have pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

The defendants, including Tacoma Cross owner James Canyon Lucas, received either suspended or deferred jail sentences in exchange for their guilty pleas to the gross misdemeanor of unlawful solicitation to manufacture a controlled substance.

Prosecutors originally charged eight people with felonies following a law-enforcement investigation that included raids on seven homes in Federal Way, Sumner, Bonney Lake, Fife and Lake Tapps last summer.

Detectives seized marijuana plants, growing equipment, firearms, cash and other drugs, court records show. They said the group was growing and distributing illegal amounts of pot.

Lucas, 31, said in a plea agreement signed this week he “offered money to others to help me in the manufacture of marijuana. I believed at the time I was complying with medical marijuana laws.”

Lucas is permitted to possess some marijuana under the state’s medical marijuana laws, his attorney said following Lucas’ arrest.

Also convicted were Loren Gordner, 31; Ryan Needham, 29; Edward Dumas, 40; and Mark Nowels, 41.

Prosecutors dismissed all charges against Lucas’ wife, Sarah Lucas, 29; Kari Levi, 42; and Kaelah Singleton, 27.

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