Catch up: Friday: Upland medical marijuana president still in custody | June 25: G3 leaders to be released, but face house arrest | More


RIVERSIDE - After more than a month in jail, medical marijuana co-operative owner Aaron Sandusky is one step closer to being released after a U.S. District judge on Thursday approved an appraisal on a home Thursday to be used to satisfy Sandusky's bail.

"I'm glad he will be out soon," said Charles Neault, a 68-year-old client of Sandusky's who put up his Chino home in order for the owner of 3G Holistic to post his $200,000 bail.

Sandusky, president of G3 Holistic, an Upland-based medical marijuana cooperative that also had sites in Colton and Moreno Valley, was arrested and indicted on drug trafficking charges with five other defendants in June.

Sandusky's public defender, Angela Viramontes, asked Judge Oswald Parada on Thursday to release Sandusky. Parada denied her request, instead telling Viramontes to file the paperwork to put the bond in place, noting it should only take a few days.

Sandusky has been in custody since June 14.

He is the only one of six defendants still in custody due to a dispute over the property he had attempted to have deeded to the court.

There have been three attempts at posting property for the bond, according to Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.

During the last attempt, the U.S. Marshals Service claimed there wasn't enough equity in the home.

The prosecution again attempted on Thursday to have the approval delayed by asking Parada for more time for the Marshals Service to enter Neault's home to perform an in-depth appraisal of the property despite the fact a week prior a full appraisal had been conducted showing the home had more than enough equity to post bail.

"I've been in the federal system since '91," Parada said. "This is the first time in the 2 1/2 years I've heard this request to be made."

More than a half-dozen of Sandusky's supporters were in the courtroom Thursday and let out muffled sounds of approval after Parada approved the appraisal.

"I did this because I don't think he did anything wrong," said Neault when asked why he would put up his home as collateral for Sandusky's bail. "I became addicted to prescription pain medications. Then my doctor prescribed the marijuana for me. I don't want to go back to the black market."

According to an indictment filed June 6 in U.S. District Court in Riverside, all six defendants in the case, including Sandusky's 44-year-old brother, Keith Sandusky, were charged with conspiracy to manufacture and to possess with intent to distribute marijuana.

Each faces a minimum 10-year sentence in federal prison and a maximum sentence life of prison.


beatriz.valenzuela@inlandnewspapers.com, 909-386-3921, @IEBeatriz