The preliminary hearing for a pair of alleged North County cannabis operators charged with the illegal cultivation and sale of marijuana has been continued to next month, prosecutors said.
The preliminary hearing for defendants Eli Christopher Sheiman and Mariette Wingard, doing business as Herbal Angels, had been set to resume on Aug. 30, but was continued at that time to Oct. 12, prosecutors said.
The case against them, filed in March 2020, had been halted midway because of the Covid 19 pandemic.
The pair were co-owners and operators of an alleged illegal pot-growing operation at 2761 Cebada Canyon Road west of Buellton, where sheriff’s investigators seized and destroyed some 3,000 pounds of dried and frozen cannabis products.
Mr. Sheiman, 47, has been charged with felony perjury for declaring as true that which he knew to be false, for stating in an affidavit that he had engaged in legal non-conforming cannabis cultivation for growing medical marijuana.
He also has been charged with procuring a false instrument for record, a felony, pertaining to his alleged false affidavit.
A third count alleges that Mr. Sheiman and Ms. Wingard, 41, cultivated cannabis plants in violation of the health and safety code, a misdemeanor, for unlawfully planting, cultivating, harvesting, drying and processing more than six living cannabis plants.
The fourth and final count against both defendants is for unlawfully possessing marijuana for sale, a misdemeanor.
The defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against them.
The case against them stems from a December 2019 raid by the Sheriff’s Cannabis Compliance Team, in which they purportedly destroyed 3,000 pounds of dried and frozen cannabis products.
The complaint against them was one of dozens filed by District Attorney Joyce Dudley’s office against cannabis operators since 2018, when the Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that opened the door to the legal marijuana industry in Santa Barbara County. Defense attorneys contend the ordinance was confusing, complex and full of loopholes.