Yellow House Pot Club Owner Sentenced To Prison
Thursday, February 5, 2009 – By Ryan Gierach, West Hollywood
West Hollywood, California (Thursday, February 5, 2009) - Larry Roger Kristich, former owner of the Compassionate Caregivers medical marijuana dispensary, known as the “Yellow House” in West Hollywood, was sentenced this week to five years in prison for operating it and six others scattered across the state.
Compassionate Caregivers medical marijuana dispensary, known as the “Yellow House” in West Hollywood. Photo by WeHo News - West Hollywood’s ONLY Newspaper, ONLY ONLINE!
Altogether, prosecutors charged that Mr. Kristich distributed more than 15,000 pounds of pot through seven dispensaries, known as the McDonald’s of medical marijuana at its peak of operation.
He was ordered by U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real to pay $500,000 in fines; he had faced up to 40 years in prison.
Partners James Carberry and James Ealy were both sentenced to probation for their roles in the operation in April, 2008.
The charges stem from the March 15, 2005 raid by LAPD narco squad officers and Federal Internal Revenue (IRS) agents on the medical cannabis club in West Hollywood, arresting 14 people and seizing 800 pounds of marijuana product (wholesale value, $2.5 million; retail value over $5 million) and between $300-500,000 in cash.
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The targeted club, Compassionate Caregivers located at 1209 N. La Brea Ave and commonly known as the “Yellow House,” had been under surveillance by LAPD since September 2004 after the arrest of a Compassionate Caregiver patron with 60 marijuana plants in his possession, all allegedly purchased at Yellow House.
Photo by WeHo News - West Hollywood’s ONLY Newspaper, ONLY ONLINE!
According to LAPD spokesperson Sgt. Plow at the time, that surveillance found that the club allegedly sold large amounts of marijuana to customers on a regular, sometimes daily, basis.
State law forbids the sale of more than eight ounces of medical marijuana to a patient at one time.
“We formed the opinion that the club was in violation of Health & Safety Code 11360 (transportation, distribution or importation of controlled substances) through the surveillance,” Sgt. Plows told WeHo News at the time.
“They regularly sold eight ounce and one pound quantities to people who made sometimes daily buys.
"There were an average of 235 visits a day to the house. That’s drug dealing, not medicine dispensing,” she said. http://wehonews.com/z/wehonews/archive/p...?articleID=3132
Larry Kristich was the president of the “Compassionate Caregivers” chain of medical marijuana dispensaries that operated an extensive number of locations across California. During its peak, the chain had outlets in West Hollywood, San Diego, Ukiah, Bakersfield, Oakland, San Francisco, and Alameda County. Federal investigators stated that “Compassionate Caregivers” employed two hundred people, grossed a total of $95 million and distributed over 15,000 pounds of marijuana during the course of its three years of operation. The West Hollywood location, called the “Yellow House,” was raided by the Los Angeles Police Department in 2005, leading to the seizure of the chain’s bank account and the closure of its facilities. Federal charges for Kristich and a handful of associates followed two years later. Kristich was in Costa Rica when he was indicted in July 2007, but he returned shortly afterward to surrender to federal authorities. In early 2008, he accepted a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to a count of maintaining a drug-involved premises and a count of promotional money laundering. In February 2009, he was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison and fined $500,000.
LARRY ROGER KRISTICH 33309-112
MDC LOS ANGELES
METROPOLITAN DETENTION CENTER
P.O. BOX 1500
LOS ANGELES, CA 90053