Four years after San Luis Obispo County law enforcement officers scooped up 12 people in a large-scale sting against medical marijuana operations, the last of the defendants are now able to walk away from their felony charges.
Hours before New Times went to press on Nov. 25, the SLO County District Attorney’s Office moved to dismiss charges against the remaining six defendants of the so-called Doobie Dozen: Valerie and David Hosking, Amy and Chris Austin, Thomas Sandercock, and Steven Gordon. They collectively faced felony charges that ranged from possession of marijuana for sale to child endangerment.
Local prosecutors dropped the cases in January 2012 after Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera issued unfavorable jury instructions regarding California medical marijuana laws. The District Attorney’s Office brought the issue before a state appellate court, and received new jury instructions, which sent the cases back to court in SLO County.
When he appeared on behalf of his management, Deputy District Attorney Matt Kraut—who noted that he was instructed to make the motion for dismissal, but had almost no knowledge of the cases—said simply: “The people are moving to dismiss the case in the interest of justice, your honor.”
Attorney Louis Koory, who represented Gordon and said he was there on a special appearance for some of the other defendants, asked the court to dismiss the cases, but keep them within the local jurisdiction while the defendants work with law enforcement to have their seized property returned.
Speaking with New Times after the hearing, Koory referred to the sting that netted 12 arrests in 2010 as “a poorly conceived operation.”
“This is likely the last gasp of the war on medical cannabis,” Koory said.
A court date has been scheduled for Jan. 6 to finalize the return of property.