Preliminary hearing for alleged pot operator delayed

The preliminary hearing for a pair of alleged North County cannabis operators charged with the illegal cultivation and sale of marijuana has continued through next month, prosecutors said.

The preliminary hearing for defendants Eli Christopher Sheiman and Mariette Wingard, doing business as Herbal Angels, was scheduled to resume Aug. 30 but continued until Oct. 12, prosecutors said.

The case against them, filed in March 2020, had been stopped halfway due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

The two men were co-owners and operators of an alleged illegal pot-growing operation at 2761 Cebada Canyon Road west of Buellton, where sheriff’s investigators seized and destroyed some 3,000 pounds of dried and frozen cannabis products.

Mr Sheiman, 47, was charged with criminal perjury for stating true what he knew to be untrue, for stating in an affidavit that he had engaged in non-compliant legal cannabis cultivation to grow cannabis medical marijuana.

He was also charged with providing a false recording instrument, a felony, regarding his alleged false affidavit.

A third count alleges that Mr. Sheiman and Ms. Wingard, 41, grew cannabis plants in violation of health and safety code, a misdemeanor, for illegally planting, cultivating, harvesting, drying and processing more than six plants of live cannabis.

The fourth and final charge against the two defendants relates to unlawful possession of marijuana for sale, a misdemeanor.

The defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

The case against them stems from a December 2019 raid by the Sheriff’s Cannabis Compliance Team, in which they allegedly destroyed 3,000 pounds of dried and frozen cannabis products.

The complaint against them was one of dozens filed by District Attorney Joyce Dudley’s office against cannabis operators since 2018, when the oversight board approved an order that opened the door to the legal marijuana industry. in Santa Barbara County. Defense attorneys say the order was confusing, complex and full of flaws.

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