DEA Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Pena announces the arrest and initial appearance of Charles “Eddy” Lepp
Mr. Lepp was arrested yesterday 02/16/2005 at 9176 Upper Lake Lucerne Road in Lake County along with Daniel Barnes. Today Lepp and Barnes appeared before U.S. Magistrate Maria Elena James and were charged with distribution of marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana and maintaining a premise for the purpose of cultivating marijuana, all in violation of 21 United States Code 841 (a)(1), 846, and 856.
According to the criminal complaint filed today, on January 19, 2005 a DEA Task Force Officer working in undercover capacity met with Lepp and negotiated for the purchase of one pound of dried and processed marijuana. The TFO was wearing a concealed audio transmittal device which was monitored and recorded by other DEA Agents observing the undercover meeting. During this meeting Lepp stated to the undercover TFO that he possessed a strain of cannabis that would make White Widow pale in comparison. White Widow is a type of marijuana with a high THC content.
The criminal complaint states that Lepp agreed to sell the one pound of high THC marijuana for $2500.00. Daniel Barnes acted as a go-between delivering the one pound of marijuana to the undercover TFO and taking receipt of the $2500.00. At no point during the negotiations was the subject of “medical” marijuana raised by either party.
Yesterday federal search warrants were served at 9176 Upper Lake Lucerne Road, and 941 and 975 East State Highway 20. At the first location Agents seized approximately 6,300 marijuana plants (including approximately 1,600 unrooted clone plants), 10 pounds of processed marijuana, 16 pounds of partially processed marijuana and a small amount of hashish. While Agents were at the residence, Lepp received telephone calls from at least one person who wanted to purchase “a couple dozen” clones from Lepp.
If convicted, the defendants face a mandatory minimum 10 year prison sentence.
The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
For further information contact DEA Special Agent Richard Meyer, Public Information Officer for the DEA San Francisco Field Division, at 415-436-7900.