Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jan 2006
Source: Alameda Times-Star, The (CA)
Contact:  2006 ANG Newspapers
Author: Jason Dearen, Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)


Owner of Warehouses Used to Grow Plants Could Get 20-Year Sentence

A federal jury has convicted an Oakland property owner of
allowing his Market Street warehouse to be used for an expansive
marijuana-growing operation.

Thomas Grossi, 61, was convicted Jan. 10 after a three-week trial and
will be sentenced April 26 by U.S. District Court Judge D. Lowell
Jensen in Oakland. Grossi faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in
prison and $500,000 in fines.

Acting on a citizen's tip, the California Highway Patrol on June 30,
2004, raided Grossi's warehouse at 2638 Market St., where they found
more than 3000 plants.

Upon further investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration found
a second warehouse at 2635 East 11th St. with more plants.

Federal charges associated with providing a place for growing
marijuana were brought against Grossi. Eight others connected to the
pot-growing operation were charged with related crimes. With Grossi's
conviction, all nine people associated with the charges now have been
convicted, authorities said.

The U.S. attorney's office, which prosecuted the case, reports that
evidence presented at trial showed that between December 2002 and
December 2004, sophisticated indoor marijuana-growing operations
existed in three properties owned by Grossi.

But the jury deadlocked on a second charge related to the 11th Street
location, so the defendants were only convicted for the Market Street

Because of the conviction, Grossi was forced to surrender the Market
Street property to the government.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office said authorities would not
comment on whether the marijuana was being cultivated for sale on the
street or in medical marijuana dispensaries.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake