Convicted pot farmer faces three cases

Convicted pot farmer James Gilbert is set for three preliminary hearings on charges of burglary, possession of controlled substances for sale and conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

Gilbert refused to waive his right to a speedy hearing, so East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl set two cases for Jan. 30.

The third hearing, which stems from a 2006 arrest, is set for Feb. 6.

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.

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.

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.

EnEarl appointed Derrick Lopez, who represents Gilbert in the 2006 case, to be his lawyer in the burglary case.

He appointed lawyer David Allison to represent Gilbert in the newest drug charge. Lopez represents Knapp in that offense, creating a conflict if he were to represent Gilbert.

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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