MediLeaf investigation continues

MediLeaf's petition to stay open during appeal denied

The owners of the MediLeaf marijuana collective whose facilities
were raided by police last year have not yet been charged with any
crimes.
The case is still under investigation, according to supervising
deputy District Attorney Jim Sibley. The Santa Clara County
district attorney’s office received the case file about two weeks
ago.
The owners of the MediLeaf marijuana collective whose facilities were raided by police last year have not yet been charged with any crimes.

The case is still under investigation, according to supervising deputy District Attorney Jim Sibley. The Santa Clara County district attorney’s office received the case file about two weeks ago.

“We’re just now in the process of reviewing all the reports at this time,” Sibley said, adding the case file is about six inches thick, and might require investigators to take a closer look at some of the evidence. He added it could take “at least another couple of weeks” to determine charges, if any are going to be filed.

In Dec. 2010, more than 50 law enforcement officers raided MediLeaf stores in Morgan Hill, Gilroy and San Jose. Also searched were the homes of the collective’s two founders – Goyko “Batzi” Kuburovich and Neil Forrest. Forrest lives in Morgan Hill, and his home on Danis Circle was listed as a target of the police search warrant. He did not return a phone call requesting comment.

Authorities have said MediLeaf was the subject of an eight-month investigation prior to the searches, and police allege that the collective was laundering money and selling marijuana illegally.

Five more people were implicated in the search warrant, and Kuburovich said no charges have been filed against him, Forrest or any of the other subjects.

Properties searched in the December raid include MediLeaf’s former store location on First Street in Gilroy, six other residences in Morgan Hill, Gilroy and San Jose, and the collective’s temporary South County headquarters in Morgan Hill, at UR Health and Wellness on the 16400 block of Monterey Road.

Also searched were two stores in San Jose.

Gilroy police said shortly after the search that the investigation revealed probable cause to “believe the MediLeaf (stores’) owners and (their) limited family members were involved in the illegal sales of marijuana and (illegally) laundered the proceeds through financial institutions.”

MediLeaf directors’ friends and family members allegedly sold marijuana to customers who had no medical ailments and laundered payment for their personal benefit, authorities said.

During the raid, law enforcement officers searched for cash, marijuana, scales, growing equipment, drug transactions ledgers, firearms, cell phones, computers, financial records and items associated with the illegal sale of marijuana. According to seizure laws and the process of “assets forfeiture” as regulated by the U.S. government, in California 70 percent of seized assets during criminal seizures are returned to the county law enforcement agency.

Kuburovich’s attorney, Jim Roberts, could not be contacted by press time, but has previously said the investigation is a “tainted process,” and authorities are trying to make a profit off the seized property.

MediLeaf opened its Gilroy office in Nov. 2009. It has also been the target of legal action by the City of Gilroy, who maintained the collective was operating illegally in the city because its owners did not acquire a business license. The Santa Clara County Superior Court affirmed the city’s complaint last year, and ordered MediLeaf to close its Gilroy office.

As of January 2011, Berliner Cohen billed the city a total of $201,000 for MediLeaf litigation, city staff said.

Leave your comments