A federal grand jury in Sacramento has indicted a Trinity County man on marijuana conspiracy and cultivation charges, months after a series of raids resulted in the seizure of more than 2,700 pot plants.
According to a criminal complaint, William Robert Barsanti, 26, who was indicted Thursday, bragged to local sheriff's deputies that he could beat any charges against him because he was protected under California's medical marijuana laws.
Trinity County authorities referred the case to federal prosecutors after 2,769 marijuana plants and five pounds of pot were seized in two raids in August and another in September on three properties owned by Barsanti, according to Sacramento U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.
Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Christopher DeFreece wrote in an affidavit that Barsanti, of Hayfork, told deputies who arrested him that he was a legal "caregiver" who was growing marijuana for 30 medical users in addition to supplying California dispensaries.
"Barsanti...stated that he would never be convicted of growing marijuana because six out ten people in Trinity County grow marijuana and that is who would be in the jury," DeFreece wrote. The DEA agent also wrote that "Barsanti continued to say that Trinitry County was a joke and he was going to beat the charges against him."
As a result of the federal indictment, he faces trial in Sacramento federal court.