2 years' probation for pot grower

December 06, 2004

Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle

A Santa Clara woman was sentenced to two years' probation Monday for her role in the cultivation of 4,000 marijuana plants found in a West Oakland warehouse that supporters say was a legitimate grower of medical cannabis.

Celeste Angello, 28, of Santa Clara, pleaded guilty Sept. 1 to a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession. Heleno Dearaujo, 32, of Concord, was scheduled to enter a guilty plea last month on a misdemeanor charge of maintaining a place for manufacturing marijuana, but the proceeding was closed to the public.

Three other suspects -- Jacek Mroz, 27, of Oakland, Jesse Nieblas, 32, of Alameda, and Mario Pacetti, 33, of Alameda -- were indicted in July by a federal grand jury in Oakland. They have pleaded not guilty to felony charges of manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, aiding and abetting, and using a place for manufacturing marijuana.

California Highway Patrol officers discovered the plants June 30 in a warehouse at 2638 Market St.

Medicinal marijuana advocates criticized the CHP for calling in federal agents -- instead of Oakland police -- and said the plants were being grown for a medical cannabis dispensary with a permit from the city of Oakland.



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