The operators of an Inland Empire chain of marijuana stores and three others associated with a warehouse where marijuana was cultivated for the stores were arrested today on federal drug trafficking charges.
A six-count indictment returned last week by a federal grand jury charges the three owners and operators of G3 Holistic stores in Upland, Colton and Moreno Valley.
The indictment, which was unsealed today, also charges three people who allegedly worked at a large grow operation in an Ontario warehouse that supplied marijuana to the three G3 stores, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The indictment and arrests come after the owners of the stores received written warnings about eight months ago that G3′s marijuana stores were operating in violation of federal law, prosecutors said.
While G3′s owners and operators shuttered the stores in Colton and Moreno Valley, the Upland store remained open, even after federal authorities executed two separate search warrants at the Upland location and filed two asset forfeiture lawsuits, officials said.
The G3 indictment charges:
– Aaron Sandusky, 41, of Rancho Cucamonga, who is a founder and owner of G3;
– John Leslie Nuckolls II, 31, of Rialto, a founder and owner of G3 and who has dubbed himself the CFO of G3;
– Keith Alan Sandusky, 44, of Rancho Cucamonga, who was in charge of G3′s day-to-day operations;
– Paul Neumann Brownbridge, 29, of Upland, who worked at the Ontario grow operation;
– Richard Irwin Kirchnavy, 45, of Rancho Cucamonga, who also worked at the Ontario grow; and
– Brandon Anton Gustafson, 30, of Yucaipa, who also worked at the Ontario site.
All six are expected to be arraigned today in Riverside federal court, but future court dates will take place in Los Angeles, prosecutors said.
The indictment charges all six defendants in a conspiracy to manufacture and to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. The indictment also charges the men with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
These two charges each carry a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Additionally, each defendant is named in at least one count of maintaining drug-involved premises, a charge that carries a potential maximum of 20 years behind bars.