San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has been adjured to give more than $100,000 back to a medical marijuana business man and his family, as the money has been confiscated from the businessman for 15 months, after drug agents conducted a raid on the company and did not prefer charges against him.
Superior Court Judge Tamila E. Ipema gave a command on Friday, when lawyers representing James Slatic contended that the money confiscated must be given back to the business if no charges have been pressed against him, according to California Law.
District Attorney enters a plea
Dumanis has taken advantage of the state and federal civil asset-forfeiture rules to impound millions of dollars from acclaimed drug peddler.
Steve Walker, a spokesman for Dumanis, said the office was entering a plea.
“The investigation remains under review for potential criminal charges, therefore the district attorney’s office is not able to discuss the facts, the status of that review or any evidence related to it,” Walker wrote in an email on Monday. “The funds ordered returned by a civil judge last week were previously found by a criminal judge to be tainted by criminal conduct, and we are reviewing the court transcript from the … hearing in March to explore further options.”
Medical marijuana business is legally justified
Contented with the Judge’s verdict, Slatic said, “It’s about time. We did nothing wrong. My business operated openly and legally for more than two years; we paid taxes and had a retirement program for our 35 employees.
“No one broke any laws, but the district attorney swooped in and took everything from me and my family, even though they had no connection to my business,” he said. “Our lives were turned upside down. It felt like we were robbed — by the police.”
Drug Agents break in
In late January 2016, drug agents broke in the Med-West Distribution, a company which provided marijuana edibles, medical pot shops, topical creams and such merchandise, using sledgehammers.
The drug agents confiscated the products, business records and around $324,000 . Moreover, two employees were arrested in the company. However, the attorney has never preferred a charge against the Slatics.
Around $99,000 were confiscated from the Slatics’ bank accounts, months after the major raid conducted on the company.
Ipema issued a command in which she said “the people cannot hold the claimant’s money indefinitely without having filed any charges.”
Law enforcement officials shall not keep confiscated cash and possessions estimated at less than $40,000 in federal cases unless a criminal sentence is secured, according to California Law.