Previously Legal Marijuana Farmer Convicted of Sex Offense Then Arrested for Cultivation and Other Charges
This is a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On 05-17-2018 at approximately 9:00 AM, members of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team (COMMET), assisted by Wardens from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Officers from the Ukiah Police Department served a Mendocino County Superior Court search warrant on Shane Timothy Earl Sawdon.
Sawdon had been identified as being a convicted sex offender, who was running a marijuana cultivation operation in the 8000 block of Gibson Lane in Potter Valley, California.
Prior investigation revealed Sawdon had obtained a Mendocino County permit and a State of California permit to operate a cannabis cultivation site previous to being convicted as a sex offender.
The California Health and Safety Code prohibits persons convicted of serious violent offenses and those offenses for which one must register as a sex offender from cultivating marijuana or processing marijuana. Thus, when Sawdon was convicted for the crime which required him to register as a sex offender pursuant to section 290 of the California Penal Code, he was prohibited from cultivating marijuana.
Upon contacting Sawdon during the search warrant, Sawdon indicated he was residing in a mobile home located at the marijuana cultivation site during the week and at an address in Willits, California where his sex offender registration states he lives on the weekends.
During the investigation, evidence indicated Sawdon was not living in Willits as he had registered pursuant to his sex offender registration requirement and it was believed he was living full time at the marijuana cultivation site in Potter Valley. This was a violation of the terms of his registration requirements as a sex offender.
During the service of the search warrant, approximately 1,500 marijuana plants were located along with some processed marijuana.
Additionally, a handgun was found in Sawdon’s residence and he was determined to be a person prohibited by law from possessing a firearm due to prior criminal convictions.
Sawdon was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for cultivation of marijuana as a person prohibited by law due to a conviction requiring registration as a sex offender; Possession of marijuana for sale; being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm; and failure to register a new address as is required pursuant to section 290 of the California Penal Code.
Sawdon was to be held in lieu of $25,000.00 bail.