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 firstname.lastname@example.org.