John Balazs is an attorney in Sacramento, California, specializing in criminal defense, including appeals, habeas corpus, pardons, expungements, and civil forfeiture actions. After graduating from UCLA Law School in 1989, he clerked for Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. John was an Assistant Federal Defender in Fresno and Sacramento from 1992-2001. He currently serves as an adjunct professor in clinical trial advocacy at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. Please email EDCA items of interest to Balazslaw@gmail.com. Follow me on twitter @balazslaw.
This blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be construed as legal advice. The law can change rapidly and information in this blog can become outdated. Do your own research or consult with an attorney.
Yesterday, according to this EDCA US Attorney press release, Judge Mendez sentenced Yan Ebyam to 6 years in prison for two separate conspiracies to grow and distribute marijuana in United States v. Ebyam, No. 2:11-CR-0275-JAM & 2:11-CR-0276-JAM.
On Monday, President Trump signed this Memorandum instituting an immediate hiring freeze on all executive branch employees to expire upon completion of a more long-term plan to reduce the size of the federal government's workforce. This presumably applies to U.S. Attorney Offices and federal law enforcement officers. While the Administrative Office also notified federal courts, their agencies, and Federal Defender Offices nationwide of the hiring freeze, I don't how Trump could impose a hiring freeze on judiciary branch employees. And no word how this advances his promise to increase jobs.
Luke Scarmazzo and Ricardo Montes were high school football teammates who went on to bigger fame, fast riches and federal prison after opening a medical marijuana store in a conservative Central Valley town in the early era of the California cannabis industry.
Now President Barack Obama, as one of his last acts in office, is letting one of the two Modesto dispensary operators go free. The White House announced Thursday that Montes, 37, has been granted clemency. He will be released from prison on May 19 after serving nine years of a 20-year sentence for illegal marijuana distribution and conducting a continuing criminal enterprise.
Costco reached an agreement in Sacramento federal court Wednesday to settle allegations that the warehouse retailer improperly filled prescriptions for controlled substances such as opiates.
The Washington state-based company will pay $11.75 million to settle the case, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California. Under the agreement, Costco acknowledged that certain pharmacies nationwide did not comply with the Controlled Substances Act.
Thirty-eight years after the bodies of two British tourists were found in the Caribbean Sea, the elderly mother of one of the victims is asking a federal district judge to speed up the trial of a Sacramento man accused of murdering the couple on a boating excursion from Belize.
The written appeal from 92-year-old Audrey Farmer, the mother of medical-school graduate Christopher Farmer, added a new element to the bizarre, unfolding criminal case of Silas Duane Boston, 75.
Boston, a former Sacramento resident who was living in a nursing home, was arrested Dec. 2 in the rural town of Paradise and later indicted on two counts of first-degree maritime murder in the 1978 killings of Farmer and the physician’s girlfriend, Peta Frampton, both in their mid-20s. He has pleaded not guilty.
Regardless of California law, the Fresno Bee reports that the feds are still busting people caught with marijuana in Yosemite National Park. According to the Bee, Yosemite issued 465 marijuana citations and made 123 pot-related arrests in the past two years.
Lawrence “Jake” Spies Jr. had a long history of depression, hospitalizations for mental illness and failed suicide attempts.
Yet, he hanged himself while an inmate at the El Dorado County jail in Placerville and nobody noticed for several hours, according to a wrongful death complaint filed last week on behalf of his parents in Sacramento federal court.
The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages as compensation for alleged deliberate indifference to serious medical needs; wrongful death; professional negligence; medical malpractice; and failure on the part of the county and its medical provider to supervise, investigate and discipline those responsible for Spies’ death.