Bail at $25,000 for farmer in pot growing operation

Bail was raised Wednesday to $25,000 cash for a 44-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos man accused of drug charges and stealing cartons of cigarettes from a convenience store.

Justice Pro Tem Paul Gilbert appointed lawyer Tod Young to represent James Gilbert after the defendant said he was unemployed and couldn't afford a lawyer.

He is to return to East Fork Justice Court on Jan. 21 on two burglary charges, possession of a controlled substance for sale and conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

Gilbert is accused of aiding and abetting David Knapp after authorities found seven marijuana plants and a grow system at Knapp's residence when he was arrested Nov. 14 by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office Special Weapons and Tactics team.

Knapp is set for sentencing Jan. 26 and faces enhancement as an habitual criminal. He faces up to 20 years in prison for sales of a controlled substance, heroin, and conspiracy to possess a controlled substance for sale.

Gilbert was arrested Jan. 7 in South Lake Tahoe on a Secret Witness tip.

As officers from the sheriff's Street Enforcement Team officers and SLEDNET entered the residence, Gilbert reportedly jumped out a second-story window and landed in a snow pile.

His steps were traced to a nearby apartment where he was arrested, hiding under a pile of dirty clothing, according to reports.

The burglary charges stem from his alleged involvement in the theft of several cartons of cigarettes from the 7-Eleven on Highway 395 and Riverview Drive.

According to court documents, the suspects were videotaped several times taking cigarettes. Gilbert was identified by the store manager and law enforcement officials who have had several contacts with him.

At his hearing Wednesday, Gilbert asked for access to the county's law library.

In October 2006 Gilbert was arrested after deputies seized marijuana plants from his residence with a street value of $400,000.

He is facing charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia stemming from that arrest.

Gilbert attempted to have the evidence suppressed because he claimed to have a medical marijuana permit. District Judge Dave Gamble denied the motion and remanded the case to Justice Court.

Gilbert's prior record includes a 1997 arrest in Barstow, Calif., after officers found 1,184 marijuana plants. He served three years in federal prison.


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