Ridge woman to lose home over pot cultivation charge

September 20, 2007

, Chico Enterprise Record

OROVILLE -- A Paradise woman admitted in court Thursday to growing more than 200 marijuana plants at her Lunar Lane residence.

The plants were discovered in January by investigators from the Butte County Sheriff's Office.

Patricia Hatton, 53, will be sentenced in Butte County Superior Court Nov. 7 on a felony charge of illegal cultivation of marijuana, and faces up to three years in prison. It's already been determined, however, that she will also lose her home.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said federal authorities seized Hatton's home under federal drug asset forfeiture laws. The home will be sold, but Ramsey said arrangements are being made for Hatton to retain some of the equity in the property.

Hatton told investigators she was growing 211 plants for up to 55 people she called "patients."

Ramsey said the woman was also operating a delivery service out of her home called the Paradise Alliance For Medical marijuana, and admitted selling marijuana to dozens of people with alleged medical needs.

Ramsey said such an operation was clearly illegal under the state's medical marijuana laws, and was nothing more than a commercial operation.

Hatton faces up to three years in state prison.

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