University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name United States v. Firestack-Harvey CJ-WA-0002
Docket / Court 2:13-cr-00024-FVS ( E.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On February 6, 2013, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Washington indicted five defendants on six counts: conspiracy to manufacture 100 or more marijuana plants, manufacture of 100 or more marijuana plants, possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 marijuana plants, ... read more >
On February 6, 2013, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Washington indicted five defendants on six counts: conspiracy to manufacture 100 or more marijuana plants, manufacture of 100 or more marijuana plants, possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 marijuana plants, distribution of marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime, and maintaining a place for the manufacture and distribution of marijuana. The Federal Public Defender was appointed to represent the five defendants. Defendants were released on bond on February 20, 2013.

Discovery and motions continued for most of the year. On November 14, 2013, defendants filed a number of motions to dismiss for Tenth Amendment violations, specifically that the United States was forcing the state of Washington to enforce federal law, and violation of Due Process and Equal Protection under the Fifth Amendment. One of the defendants also filed motions to suppress evidence. On April 30, 2014, Judge Sickle issued a series of opinions responding to motions. He denied the claim, that because Congress allowed DC to have medical marijuana, prosecution for marijuana use in Washington was unconstitutional under the Due Process clause or the Equal Protection clause.

On the motion to suppress claims, Ms. Firestack-Harvey's statements made under interrogation after she asked to speak to an attorney but statements she made prior to that point were held to be admissible. Judge Sickle also rejected defendants' motion to dismiss on the ground that local marijuana use was permitted by the Controlled Substances Act and rejected the their Tenth Amendment challenge, holding that the Court did not have the authority to dismiss under the Tenth Amendment. Finally, Judge Sickle rejected motions to dismiss based on the government's failure to preserve evidence, holding that the fifth defendant, Jason Zucker, did not show bad faith on the government's part.

On May 6, 2014, the government issued a superseding indictment dropping one of the marijuana charges. Defendants subsequently plead not guilty. Pretrial conferences and preparation continued through 2014. On November 12, 2014, Judge Sickle issued an order granting the government's motion to exclude certain defense witnesses who were going to testify to the medical benefits of marijuana. On November 14, 2014, the case was reassigned to Judge Thomas O. Rice.

On February 2, 2015, the defendants jointly submitted a motion to dismiss, arguing that Congress had prohibited the use of federal resources to prosecute users of medical marijuana in California, among other states. On February 12, Judge Rice denied the motion, holding that the recent passage of an appropriations bill did not repeal by implication the Controlled Substances Act. On February 18, Judge Rice granted the government's motion to dismiss charges against Larry Harvey, one of the five defendants, due to his serious health issues. The trial began on February 23. On February 24, one of the five defendants, Jason Zucker, changed his plea and pleaded guilty to Count 1. The Court accepted his plea on March 4.

On March 2, 2015, the jury convicted all three remaining defendants on Count 2 of the indictment, intentionally and knowingly manufacturing 100 or more marijuana plants, but acquitted on all other charges. On April 17, Judge Rice denied defendants' motion for a new trial and acquittal, holding that the evidence at trial was sufficient to prove Count 2 beyond a reasonable doubt and that there was no serious risk of a miscarriage of justice. On June 4, 2015, Judge Rice ruled on defendants' motion to enjoin further prosecution based on the appropriations rider from Congress and acquittal. He rejected that claim again but stayed sentencing to allow the parties to prepare. On June 19, Judge Rice denied Jason Zucker's motion to join the other defendants' motion to dismiss and stay his sentencing.

On July 24, 2015, judgment was entered for Zucker. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison and a $5000 fine with four years of supervised release. On October 2, Firestack-Harvey and Michelle Gregg were sentenced to one year and one day in prison. Ms. Firestack-Harvey had her fine waived while Ms. Gregg was assessed a $2000 fine. Rolland Gregg was sentenced to 33 months in prison and assessed a $7500 fine. All three were given three years of supervised release post-sentence.

The case appears to be closed.

Craig Streit - 11/17/2016


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 12111 et seq.
Bivens
Defendant(s) The United States of America
Plaintiff Description This is a criminal case in which the United States prosecuted five individuals for manufacturing and distributing marijuana in violation of the Controlled Substances Act as well as possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Criminal Conviction
Source of Relief Litigation
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Docket(s)
2:13-cr-00024 (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/29/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order Denying the Defendants' Motion to Suppress Firearms [ECF# 279] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/28/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motions to Dismiss on Equal Protection or Due Process Grounds [ECF# 283] (2014 WL 1682863 / 2014 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 60963) (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/29/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion to Compel Discovery [ECF# 284] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Jason Zucker's Motion to Compel the United States to Provide a Bill of Particulars [ECF# 285] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Jason Zucker's Motion to Dismiss Based Upon the United States' Failure to Preserve Evidence [ECF# 286] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion to Dismiss the Indictment on the Grounds That Possession of Marijuana is Legal Under Federal Law [ECF# 290] (2014 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 60959) (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0004.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/30/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Indictment Under the Tenth Amendment [ECF# 290] (2014 WL 1744255) (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/30/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Michelle Gregg's Motion for a Continuance [ECF# 291] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/30/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Michelle Gregg's Motion to Suppress Evidence Seized Pursuant to the Search Warrant That Was Issued By A State Superior Court Judge [ECF# 292] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/30/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Jason Zucker's Request for an Order Precluding the United States from Filing an Information Under 21 U.S.C. 851 (a) [ECF# 297] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/30/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Superseding Indictment [ECF# 322]
CJ-WA-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/06/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Superceding Indictment [ECF# 322]
CJ-WA-0002-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/06/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting the United States' "Motion in Limine to Exclude Defense Witnesses" [ECF# 507] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/12/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order of Reassignment [ECF# 510] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/14/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Defendants' Motions to Dismiss [ECF# 579] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/12/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Dismissing Superseding Indictment [ECF# 595] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/18/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Verdict Form [ECF# 625]
CJ-WA-0002-0019.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/03/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Verdict Form [ECF# 627]
CJ-WA-0002-0020.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/03/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Verdict Form [ECF# 629]
CJ-WA-0002-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/03/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Accepting Guilty Plea and Setting Sentencing Schedule [ECF# 637] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0022.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/10/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Defendants' Motion for Acquittal and New Trial [ECF# 653] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0023.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/17/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, to Enjoin, or For Staying of Sentencing [ECF# 702] (2015 WL 3533222) (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0024.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/05/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment in a Criminal Case [ECF# 725] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0025.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/24/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment in a Criminal Case [ECF# 782] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0026.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/02/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment in a Criminal Case [ECF# 784] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0027.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/02/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment in a Criminal Case [ECF# 786] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0028.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/02/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying the Defendants' Motion to Suppress Based Upon Detective Erdman's Alleged Failure to Disclose Exculpatory Evidence [ECF# 278] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/28/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Rhonda Firestack-Harvey's Motion to Suppress Statements [ECF# 282] (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Peterson, Rosanna Malouf (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0016
Rice, Thomas Owen (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0017 | CJ-WA-0002-0018 | CJ-WA-0002-0022 | CJ-WA-0002-0023 | CJ-WA-0002-0024 | CJ-WA-0002-0025 | CJ-WA-0002-0026 | CJ-WA-0002-0027 | CJ-WA-0002-0028 | CJ-WA-0002-9000
Van Sickle, Frederick L. (E.D. Wash.)
CJ-WA-0002-0002 | CJ-WA-0002-0003 | CJ-WA-0002-0004 | CJ-WA-0002-0005 | CJ-WA-0002-0006 | CJ-WA-0002-0007 | CJ-WA-0002-0008 | CJ-WA-0002-0009 | CJ-WA-0002-0010 | CJ-WA-0002-0011 | CJ-WA-0002-0012 | CJ-WA-0002-0013 | CJ-WA-0002-0014
Plaintiff's Lawyers Baunsgard, Caitlin A (Washington)
CJ-WA-0002-9000
Hicks, Earl (Washington)
CJ-WA-0002-0001 | CJ-WA-0002-0015
Ormsby, Michael C. (Washington)
CJ-WA-0002-0001 | CJ-WA-0002-0015
Defendant's Lawyers Campbell, Matthew A (Washington)
CJ-WA-0002-9000
Cikutovich, Frank L (Washington)
CJ-WA-0002-9000
Edari, Syovata (Washington)
CJ-WA-0002-9000
Fischer, Robert R (Washington)
CJ-WA-0002-9000
Flennaugh, Robert II (Washington)
CJ-WA-0002-9000
Flevaris, Taki V (Washington)
CJ-WA-0002-9000
Irwin, James F (Washington)
CJ-WA-0002-9000
Maxey, Bevan J. (Washington)
CJ-WA-0002-9000
Niesen, Jeffrey S. (Washington)
CJ-WA-0002-9000
Phelps, Douglas D. (Washington)
CJ-WA-0002-9000
Serra, J. Tony (California)
CJ-WA-0002-9000
Telfeyan, Phil (District of Columbia)
CJ-WA-0002-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -