Source: Antelope Valley Press (Palmdale, CA)
Pubdate: July 25, 1998
Author: KEVIN McKEEHAN Valley Press Staff Writer


LOS ANGELES - A Lancaster man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in
Los Angeles along with eight other men who allegedly operated a massive
marijuanagrowing organization, which cultivated and shipped thousands of
cloned marijuana plants across Southern California.

David Richards, who resided on the 43700 block of Birchtree Avenue, was
arrested Thursday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Richards and his eight alleged co-conspirators are charged with conspiracy
to grow marijuana, possessing the drug with the intent to distribute and
distributing it.

In the nine-count indictment handed down by the grand jury Friday,
authorities allege Richards received thousands of dollars to help oversee a
large marijuana farm in West Los Angeles.

Furthermore, it is alleged that Los Angeles resident Peter McWilliams, who
authorities say wanted to be the "Bill Gates of medical marijuana," funded
most of the yearlong operation.

The men utilized several homes throughout the county, including a
$2,500-a-year house in Littlerock, which was promptly turned into a
marijuana growing site. Homes, which were in reality farms, were also
maintained in Bel Air, Pacific Palisades, Winnetka and Chino.

According to the indictment, thousands of dollars worth of lamps, lights,
mixers and shifters poured into the Littlerock home, the exact location of
which was unavailable Friday.

The operation began in December 1996 with an infusion of money from
McWilliams, which was funneled through his Los Angeles self-help publishing
company, Prelude Press.

>From those funds, McWilliams' men, including Richards, allegedly purchased
tons of equipment and marijuana seeds. McWilliams, the indictment stated,
wanted to be the sole supplier of pot for the Los Angeles Cannabis Club.

The operation came to a screeching halt with several arrests a year after
it got under way.

Indicted along with Richards and McWilliams were Bel Air resident Todd
McCormick, 25, Hollywood resident Kirill Dyjine, 33, Manhattan Beach
resident Christopher Carrington, 32, Van Nuys resident Gregg Collier, 25,
and Malibu resident Andrew Scott Hass, 34, who allegedly did much of the
work at the farm in Littlerock.

Richards is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court Monday.

Two men who were indicted but still at-large are Los Angeles residents
Aleksandra Evangulidi, 24, and Renee Boje.

1998 Antelope Valley Press, Palmdale, California, USA (805) 273-2700

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Checked-by: Mike Gogulski