Vacaville couple, police dispute source of cash found at home

By From page A1 | August 17, 2014

VACAVILLE — A couple contends $6,651 in cash at their home came from selling a car, boat and trailer. Police, who had placed tracking devices on vehicles of the couple, describe the money as proceeds from illegal marijuana sales.

A Sept. 23 case management conference is scheduled in Solano County Superior Court about the asset forfeiture case.

A June 2013 search warrant allowed GPS tracking devices on three of the couple’s vehicles for 30 days of monitoring because Kenneth Moynahan, 48, and Michelle Moynahan, 50, were suspected of growing and selling marijuana illegally out of their home, said a Vacaville police report about the July 25, 2013, search.

Kenneth Moynahan said in court filings in the civil case that he has recommendations from doctors for medical marijuana because of back problems.

The couple had been seen June 14, 2013, exiting several marijuana dispensaries in the Vallejo area, according to the police report filed as part of the civil case by the Solano County District Attorney’s Office for the $6,651 law enforcement found at the home.

Kenneth Moynahan told police during the July 2013 search that he had located a tracking device while doing brake work on his Chevy Suburban and then checked a Chevy Corvette and BMW sedan of the couple for more devices, according to the police report.

He also said energy bills that reached up to $1,200 a month spurred the trip to dispensaries for ways to keep electricity costs down, the report added. He acknowledged a $2,000 receipt for selling a half-pound of marijuana to a cooperative he said he belonged to, according to the report.

A detective and an officer said they explained that belonging to the co-op did not mean Moynahan could sell to the organization for a profit, the report states.

Moynahan said he believed he was complying with California law about marijuana cultivation, according to the report. Moynahan said he makes about $10,000 a month as a tortilla delivery driver, recently declared bankruptcy and owes more than $1 million to creditors, said the police report about the July 2013 search.

Police said numerous text messages about marijuana sales were found on the Moynahans’ cellphones during the search. A total of 5.2 pounds of marijuana was found, a digital scale and about 20 clear plastic bags, the report states. Two marijuana grow rooms were located at the home. One room contained immature plants that were not budding, with stakes identifying the strains by names that included “Girl Scout Cookie,” according to the report.

Two medical marijuana recommendations, issued in 2013 by a doctor at a care center in Sacramento, were posted on a wall, police said. Each recommendation stated that Kenneth Moynahan was to posses no more than 5 kilos of processed marijuana and 99 mature plants, the police report adds. Two “primary caregiver” agreements were signed in 2013 by two Vacaville residents.

The law enforcement search also produced a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and a 12-gauge shotgun, according to the police report.

On July 26, 2013, a day after the search, police said Chase Bank in Vacaville advised that $8,000 had been withdrawn from a bank account of one of the couple’s daughters, the police report states.

Kenneth Moynahan declined Thursday to comment about the case and said not to contact his wife about the matter.

“Just be careful about what you write,” he said.

Officers, after entering the American Way home in July 2013, for safety reasons secured the couple and their 22-year-old-daughter in handcuffs, the police report states.

Lt. Matt Lydon said Thursday that law enforcement, when undertaking such searches, doesn’t know whether people are armed, what access they may have to weapons or who may be in a home.

“We never know who’s going to be there,” Lydon said.

If officers determine people at the house are not involved, they are released from handcuffs, the lieutenant said.

He declined to comment on the use of tracking devices or the Moynahans’ assertions that the cash at the home came from sale of the vehicle and boat trailer.

“They have a right to that hearing,” Lydon said of the court review of the asset forfeiture case. “That’s why we have that.”

The money is returned if it’s proven the funds are not related to drug sales, he said.

Separate criminal cases against Kenneth Moynahan and Michelle Moynahan charge them with felony marijuana cultivation and felony possession of marijuana for sale. Attorney Omar Figueroa, representing Kenneth Moynahan, has filed a legal challenge to the criminal charges.

Laws about marijuana are unconstitutionally vague and Moynahan is exempt from them because he is a medical marijuana patient, Figueroa contends in the July 30 court filing.

“His conduct was lawful,” the attorney stated. “No public offense can be stated where only lawful conduct is alleged.”

Since large-scale medical marijuana dispensaries are lawfully operating throughout Solano County, Moynahan and others must guess as to whether alleged conduct conforms to California’s vague, confusing labyrinth of medical marijuana laws, Figueroa said.

A Sept. 24 hearing is scheduled in Solano County Superior Court about the attorney’s challenge to the criminal complaint.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 22 comments

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  • jimmy blankAugust 17, 2014 - 1:15 am

    10 grand a month to deliver tortillas where do I apply?

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  • JimboAugust 17, 2014 - 9:57 am

    More than likely just a case of Daily Republic's lack of proofreaders.

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  • just my opinionAugust 17, 2014 - 2:38 am

    No kidding with that type of income coming in from delivering tortillas where can i sign up. I'm wondering if it's mission tortilla company that he delivers for I heard they make a lot to stock and deliver there products.

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  • gemmaAugust 17, 2014 - 10:28 am

    Have you ever had Tia Rosa tortillas? I was strictly a mission until I had Tia Rosa. Only problem is I can no longer find them.

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  • gemmaAugust 17, 2014 - 10:34 am

    "Each recommendation stated that Kenneth Moynahan was to posses no more than 5 kilos of processed marijuana and 99 mature plants, the police report adds. Two “primary caregiver” agreements were signed in 2013 by two Vacaville residents." That's weird. I've NEVER heard of weed referred to in Kilos. I thought weed was grams, ounces and lbs, while coke was Kilos? Sb420 doesn't say you can possess 99 plants(I got 99 problems but a plant ain't one.) It says 6 mature or 12 immature, and 8 OUNCES of dried product. I still don't think growing for himself and 2 others means he can have 99 plants. My problem here is NOT the weed. My problem is the rule breaking, which will only lead to more reasons VV will never allow dispensaries. I truly believe there are growers and dispensaries that do this work to help people. I also believe there are growers and dispensaries that do it just to make a profit. Neither one is wrong imo UNLESS you're doing it in a city that strictly prohibits it. How much more stupid can these people get?

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  • BSAugust 17, 2014 - 8:24 am

    It's marijuana. Who cares. He has $6000, not millions. Now take his money so he can apply for welfare and I can help support him. That's the problem with cow towns where the cops have nothing to do. They make a big deal over something like this. What a waste.

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  • DumbassesAugust 17, 2014 - 9:01 am

    Bs exactly! The only reason it's a big deal is because vacaville police have nothing better to do & they don't get a cut from the marijuana sales

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  • CD BrooksAugust 17, 2014 - 9:03 am

    BS, absolutely! Enough of this garbage, with any luck we'll soon be legally selling marijuana. Time to move forward AND get the revenue benefits!

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  • CheechAugust 17, 2014 - 11:55 am

    I'm all for making it legal. Go to a store, buy it, go home & enjoy. But we are talking a grow op in a residential neighborhood with sales. Ever know a drug dealer who didn’t take the opportunity to make money of another product? Ever live next door to that? I have & it was not pleasant. Got a guy down the street that has a small grow, three plants & I am not looking forward to the next couple of months. The smell just before & after harvest is overwhelming. This guy knew the risks, got busted, so consider the $6k back income tax. He should feel lucky they didn't take the Corvette as well. Must have been a C4.

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  • 2realAugust 17, 2014 - 9:03 am

    BS i agree cow town has nothing better to do. They should put all this work trying to catch this small time dealer into keeping a closer eye on all the molesters and rapist dwelling in that dump of a town.

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  • JimboAugust 17, 2014 - 9:28 am

    These people will get off because Dennis Peron sued and the court found that selling to recoup growing costs is legal. And the court will have a very hard time trying to say they have less than two grand in equipment to grow indoors. Also legal patients are allowed to sell extra medication to a legal dispensary. It keeps people from selling it black market instead. These people sound like they were trying to follow the law.

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  • B. ThiemerAugust 17, 2014 - 10:36 am

    Here is the fallacy of the current asset forfeiture law: The defendants have to prove the asset was not part of a crime; as opposed to the prosecutor having to prove it was part of the crime. The defendants have to prove their innocence.

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  • P.J.August 17, 2014 - 10:50 am

    When you see that tortilla delivery truck doing 40 mph on the interstate you'll know who the driver it. A daughter withdrew $8000 from their bank account. They drive a Suburban, a Corvette and a BMW......and they are bankrupt? If the money is from a sale of a car, boat and trailer the state will have a record of that. This is all so fishy...from the cops to the user, seller...OH! I want to be able to smoke some pot so I can be out of pain while I'm driving....a tortilla truck.

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  • JimboAugust 17, 2014 - 10:58 am

    Bail and lawyers are not free.

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  • BeeboAugust 17, 2014 - 11:01 am

    It will be difficult to pull this money out of the hands of the police. They want it now, more than ever. Let's just get on with legalization so that these small problems dissappear.

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  • CheechAugust 17, 2014 - 12:00 pm


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  • druzer86August 17, 2014 - 11:58 am

    I need one of those $10000 a month tortilla delivery driver jobs!!! The guy is handing everyone a crock of s**t and we all know it.

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  • CheechAugust 17, 2014 - 12:04 pm

    They were special tortillas made for rolling. Company called "Nice Dreams"....

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  • CheechAugust 17, 2014 - 12:13 pm

    They run Ice Cream Trucks as well. Try the Choco-Taco, it's the bomb...

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  • GrassAugust 17, 2014 - 5:06 pm

    There are thousands of people in this area that do the same thing!. Vacaville police must be having a slow week!. What a waste of officers time and tax payer money!. These people will pay a fine for not following state law on the weed. Next week they will continue growing and working with the dispensaries. Shouldn't the police be searching for the hardcore felony drugs and the pimps, prostitues and pedophiles?!?...Wasting time on weed hahah!.

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  • just my opinionAugust 18, 2014 - 9:36 am

    Gemma go to Raley's or food max,I think they might have them there. Or better yet ask a store worker they could tell you.

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  • just my opinionAugust 18, 2014 - 5:41 pm

    I believe the commissary still carry's Tia rosa. That last time I looked they still had them.

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