Brothers Plead Guilty to Conspiracy to Manufacture and Distribute Marijuana
Las Vegas, Nev. – Two brothers who operated a purported medical marijuana dispensary in Las Vegas and were also growing marijuana in a Henderson, Nev. business office complex, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute over 100 marijuana plants, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Eric Medlin, 28, and Raymond Medlin, 31, both of Henderson, pleaded guilty this morning before U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro to one count of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute over 100 marijuana plants. They are scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 29, 2012, at 10:00 and 10:30 a.m., respectively, and face up to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
According to the plea agreements, Eric and Raymond Medlin owned and operated "Organic Releaf," a purported medical marijuana dispensary, at 8545 S. Eastern Avenue in Las Vegas. On Sept. 8, 2010, a federal search warrant was executed at the business and law enforcement officials recovered approximately two kilograms of marijuana, consisting of 181 plants and dried marijuana in containers that had labels such as, "White Rhino," "White Widow," "Purple Wreck," and "Sour Diesel." The brothers were not arrested at that time, although their mother, Caroline Dellevalle, and another co-defendant, Chad Uhl were convicted of Conspiracy to Manufacture Marijuana in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, case number 2:11-cr-026-KJD-LRL, in relation to that investigation.
On March 29, 2012, a state search warrant was served at an office complex at 1941 Ramrod Avenue, Suite 100, in Henderson, as a result of a complaint by a citizen of a possible marijuana grow operation. Law enforcement officers discovered in the office suite a grow room containing 50 marijuana plants and related grow equipment. Both Eric and Raymond Medlin had been observed on the premises and neither had a valid medical marijuana card or a pending application.
Storefront marijuana dispensaries are not recognized under Nevada law, and it is illegal to sell "medical marijuana" in Nevada. The dispensaries frequently seek protection under Nevada law by claiming they are primary caregivers to medical marijuana patients; however, they do not "consistently assume responsibility for the housing, health, or safety" of their customers as a primary caregiver is required to do under state law. The dispensaries also typically acquire the marijuana they sell from third-party vendors, and there is no state law in Nevada that allows for the production and sale of marijuana from third-party vendors to dispensaries. Additionally, dispensaries often claim that they are requiring "donations" rather than compensation in return for marijuana, in an effort to conceal the unlawful nature of their business.
The investigation was conducted by the DEA and Henderson Police Department as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the Nevada High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bradley W. Giles.