Saturday, 15 June 2024

Couple acquitted of felony drug charges

THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED. 

 

LAKEPORT – A Lakeport couple was acquitted this week of felony charges in a case alleging possession and cultivation of drugs for sale.


A jury listened to testimony for two weeks, and on May 14, returned verdicts of not guilty on all felony counts against William and Janice Hodges, according to attorney Doug Rhoades, who represented William Hodges. Janice Hodges was defended by attorney Mitchell Hauptman.


The couple had been charged with possessing both methamphetamine and marijuana for sale, illegally cultivating marijuana and maintaining a place for the sales or use of controlled substances, Rhoades reported.


Janice Hodges was separately charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance, Rhoades said. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty to that charge as well.


The jury returned a single guilty verdict for both on a misdemeanor charge of illegally possessing a hypodermic syringe, according to Rhoades.


Both Hodges were arrested following police and Narcotics Task Force raid of their home in Lakeport on July 8, Rhoades said. Police seized several items of alleged contraband, including cash, methamphetamine, packaging materials, weapons and 62 marijuana plants of various sizes from the couple’s back yard.


The defendants maintained that the growing marijuana was legal, and within the guidelines of California’s Compassionate Use Act (Medical Marijuana), Rhoades said.


Both defendants, and another adult, for whom Mrs. Hodges acted as caregiver, had valid marijuana use certificates at the time of the raid, Rhoades said. The defendants disavowed any possession or sales of controlled substances.


The defendants will appear before the trial judge, Richard C. Martin, on May 21 in Department 2 of the Superior Court for sentencing on the single misdemeanor, Rhoades reported.


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