Former Concord Police Officer Sentenced to Jail for Maintaining an Indoor Marijuana Grow Operation in Chico
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2011|
SACRAMENTO, CA—United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that United States District Judge Garland E. Burrell sentenced Damon Todd Rydell, 36, of Redding, today to 18 months in prison by for his role in an indoor marijuana grow operation in Chico, in 2010.
According to statements made in court, Rydell, a former police officer for the city of Concord, had requested a no-jail term, claiming ignorance of federal law and a belief that state medical marijuana law allowed him to grow more than 200 marijuana plants.
In sentencing, Judge Burrell, found that Rydell conveniently used California law as an excuse to engage in maintaining a location to grow marijuana in clear violation of federal law. Judge Burrell ordered Rydell to pay a $7,500 fine and to serve a term of three years of supervised release.
Rydell is the second defendant to be sentenced in this case. Previously sentenced on July 29, 2011, was Ramon Filipe Maldonado, 27, Chico, whom Judge Burrell sentenced to 24 months in jail for his role in the scheme. Johnny E. “Jay” Grivette, 36, pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 2, 2011.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office Special Enforcement Unit (SEU), and the Butte County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Russell L. Carlberg and Michael M. Beckwith are prosecuting the case.