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Press Release

Rancho Cucamonga Man Who Operated Large-Scale Marijuana Grow And Commercial Pot Store Sentenced To 10 Years In Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

LOS ANGELES – The former president of G3 Holistics, Inc., a marijuana business operating in the Inland Empire, was sentenced this morning to 10 years in prison for his conviction last fall on federal narcotics charges for distributing hundreds of pounds of marijuana.

Aaron Sandusky, 42, of Rancho Cucamonga, was sentenced by United States District Judge Percy Anderson, who presided over Sandusky’s trial last fall.

A federal jury that heard two days of evidence convicted Sandusky of two counts – conspiracy and possession with the intent to distribute marijuana. In relation to each of the two counts, the jury determined that the crimes involved at least 1,000 marijuana plants. As a result of the convictions, federal law called for a mandatory sentence of at least 10 years.

Sandusky “is an unrepentant manipulator who used the perceived ambiguity surrounding ‘medical’ marijuana to exploit a business opportunity for himself,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo filed with the court.

Sandusky “used G3 as a means to replace the vast income he lost from the collapse of his real estate business. Defendant built a veneer of legitimacy around his criminal enterprise using his customers’ good-faith search for pain relief. There is
absolutely no altruistic component to defendant’s continued and sustained criminality,” according to the sentencing memo.

The jury that returned guilty verdicts on two counts could not reach unanimous verdicts on four other counts, which specifically charged Sandusky with maintaining drug-involved premises at each of G3’s marijuana stores – in Upland, Colton and Moreno Valley – and at G3’s marijuana grow operation in Ontario. At the government’s request today, Judge Anderson dismissed those counts.

The criminal case against Sandusky came after he had received written warnings in October 2011 from the United States Attorney's Office that G3’s marijuana stores were operating in violation of federal law. While Sandusky closed G3 stores in Colton and Moreno Valley, he kept the Upland store open – even after federal authorities executed two separate search warrants at that location, filed an asset forfeiture lawsuit against the Upland property, and filed a second asset forfeiture lawsuit against nearly $11,500 in cash seized by federal authorities in November 2011.

Sandusky was one of six people connected to G3 who were indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2012. The other five defendants – including G3’s co-owner, John Leslie Nuckolls II, of Rialto – pleaded guilty prior to trial and are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Anderson in the coming weeks.

The investigation of this case was conducted by special agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, who received assistance from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Release No. 13-003

Updated June 22, 2015