With a red-handled pocket knife in his shaking hand, Steven Gordon hovered over a spread of brown paper bags and boxes.
“It’s like Christmas,” he half heartedly joked.
In fact, the boxes and bags that lay before him were all sealed and dated three days after Christmas, the date his property was seized and logged as evidence after his arrest in December 2010.
- PHOTO BY KAORI FUNAHASHI
“Bagged and tagged,” Gordon’s attorney Louis Koory said.
Alongside two associates of the Hopeful Remedies medical marijuana delivery service Gordon was arrested for operating, he and Koory compared the contents against an evidence sheet to make sure everything was still there. The first bag contained empty glass bottles; the second, roughly 5 1/2 pounds of marijuana.
“How’s it look?” Koory asked as Gordon pawed through the brown-paper sack, inspecting marijuana that had been sitting in evidence for more than four years. “Dry as a bone. Yeah, it’s ruined.”
Other packages contained relics from his life before the arrest: an old cell phone wrapped in a clear plastic bag, his wallet and a bag of old credit cards, even an old day planner.
“I never used it,” Gordon said as he thumbed through blank pages. “Brand new.”
As his associates filmed, Gordon displayed the articles of incorporation for Hopeful Remedies. Koory said the papers showed Gordon was properly organized under the state of California, but that fact wasn’t referenced in police reports.
Gordon was one of 12 people arrested and charged as part of an inter-agency sting—Operation Green Sweep, led by the now-defunct Narcotics Task Force—that targeted medical marijuana delivery services in late 2010. To date, all of the charges have been dismissed, with the last six defendants’ charges dismissed on Nov. 25, 2014.
Gordon is also one of five plaintiffs who have sued the California Department of Justice, the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, and former NTF head Rodney John as well as other officers involved in their dismissed criminal cases. They allege their constitutional rights were violated. The case survived a motion for dismissal by the state, and Koory recently stepped in to replace the former attorney, Troy Otus. It’s scheduled for a case management conference on April 6.
More than four years since his arrest, Doobie Dozen defendant Steven Gordon recovered his property from the SLO County Sheriff's Office evidence locker on the afternoon of Jan. 23. Included in the many boxes and bags of tagged evidence were 5 1/2 pounds of marijuana from Gordon's Hopeful Remedies delivery service, about 100 patient recommendation forms, Gordon's old wallet, and corporate paperwork.
PHOTO BY KAORI FUNAHASHI