By Neal Putnam
A former Ramona man lost his bid to withdraw his guilty plea in a marijuana cultivation operation and was sentenced Friday to serve 120 days in a work furlough facility.
Joshua Bennett Day, 27, wanted to withdraw his guilty plea because he learned that a felony conviction would bar him from working in security services or possibly interstate truck driving, according to documents filed by his attorney, James Pokorny.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Laura Halgren denied the motion, so his guilty plea to cultivating marijuana stands. She said that since Day has a job that qualifies him for work furlough, he will spend 120 days there at nights and on weekends rather than county jail.
Day received credits of two days in jail and fined $694 under terms of three years probation, according to court records. He has moved to El Cajon and will report to the work furlough center on Sept. 17.
His attorney said that Day was ill and was a medical marijuana patient at the time of his arrest.
Days’ two former roommates, who also pleaded guilty to cultivation of marijuana, did not receive jail time and were ordered to do 18 days of public service work under terms of three years probation. They also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of the drug.
Before the sheriff’s raid on Feb. 22 at their home in the 300 block of Fegahli Road in Ramona, a sheriff’s dog reacted to an odor from a package addressed to Day on Jan. 23 that was at the Fed Ex in Carlsbad, according to the search warrant.
After a judge signed the warrant, deputies opened the parcel and found two envelopes containing $17,800 in money orders with a blank payee. The discovery prompted the drug bust.
Deputies found two marijuana cultivation tents and high wattage lights in the house. In a closet were 44 marijuana stalks that were drying, and a pistol, court records say. Deputies seized 120 marijuana plants.