By Neal Putnam
Three Ramona men have pleaded guilty to felony cultivation of marijuana in connection with an indoor growing site where sheriff’s deputies found 120 marijuana plants on Feb. 22.
The apparent ringleader, Joshua Bennett Day, 27, wrote on a court document: “I planted, cultivated, harvested, dried, and processed marijuana.”
In contrast, Douglas Michael Politte, 27, wrote: “I encouraged another to cultivate marijuana” and indicated he was pleading guilty because he “aided and abetted” the operation.
Justin Andrew Lambert, 29, also wrote that he “aided and abetted another to cultivate marijuana.”
Politte and Lambert also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of the drug.
The trio will be sentenced June 10 in San Diego Superior Court and it appears they may all be placed on probation with some possible jail time. Day may receive up to 180 days in jail, according to court records.
Charges of possessing the marijuana for sale were dismissed. Judge Laura Halgren also dismissed a charge against Day that he possessed a billy club. All three men are free on bond.
The guilty pleas by Politte and Lambert mention the possibility that they could return to court in two years if they are successful on probation and have the charge dismissed.
Sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant Feb. 22 at 6:05 a.m. on a residence at 300 block of Fegahli Road in Ramona. They found an indoor marijuana growing site that contained 120 high grade marijuana plants, and 5 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $15,000.
They also found a firearm and $17,800 in cash, both of which will be forfeited to the government if the men are convicted. The residence had a steel security screen with steel gates, according to the sheriff’s department.