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Corrections Officer Charged with Growing Weed

A jail guard was arrested in early October as police busted a group growing marijuana in Sacramento.

Eddie LayEddie Lay, 32, was arrested Oct. 8 on suspicion of cultivating weed for sale. The bust was the culmination of an eight-month investigation into pot-growing in the city.

Sacramento police launched the investigation when the department’s South Area Gang Enforcement Team got a tip that an unnamed law enforcement officer was involved with a local street gang. The tip said the officer was engaged in cannabis cultivation.

Several police agencies joined in the investigation: the criminal intelligence unit of the Sacramento Police Department, the Narcotics Gang Investigation Team at the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, and the office of internal affairs at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Lay was employed by the corrections department. It wasn’t immediately clear where in the prison system he worked.

The investigation ultimately determined that he was part of the growing operation, police said. Officers then served six search warrants on properties located throughout Sacramento, according to the Sacramento police force.

During the searches, police found 617 marijuana plants, about 250 pounds of processed and packaged cannabis, several guns, and more than $5,000 in cash.

Marijuana HandcuffsFour other people were arrested during the searches. Tommy Su was arrested during one search and jailed on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale. Michael Su and Vich Nguyen were arrested at another property and booked on suspicion of cultivation for sale and child endangerment. At a third site, Phu Su was arrested on suspicion of cultivation and sale.

Sacramento is one of the more dangerous spots in California for growing weed. County supervisors banned outdoor grows earlier this year, joining an increasing number of communities that are trying to stamp out medical marijuana.

Thankfully, voters will likely get a chance in two years to take care of the problem themselves. A public initiative pushing for legalization of recreational pot is likely to appear on the ballot in November 2016.

About Matt Brooks

Based in San Francisco, Matt is a journalist who has specialized in marijuana policy for more than five years. He provides regular news coverage on marijuanaandthelaw.com and californiamarijuanamarket.com.

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