California narc cop busted for marijuana in Pennsylvania

A Yuba County narcotics officer has been arrested for transporting cannabis cross-country, which may lead to dozens of dismissed cases under his investigation.

Yuba County Deputy Christopher Heath, 37, was arrested on Dec. 29 after he and two other men were stopped in York County, PA with two pickup trucks loaded with 247 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated value of $2 million, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Heath was a lead investigator who directed nummerous raids in marijuana, methamphetamine and other drug cases for a Narcotics Enforcement Team in Yuba and Sutter counties. His arrest creates major problems for the court systems in both counties, as more than 60 drug cases and prosecutions Heath was involved in are now being reviewed for potential dismissal and overturned convictions.

“We are looking at the cases where Heath was involved to determine whether or not the cases can be approved” and stand, Sutter County District Attorney Amanda Hopper said to the Bee. “If he is the only investigator who can testify to the evidence, then the case may be tainted to such a degree we can’t proceed.”

Heath was the lead investigator in 21 Sutter County drug cases since 2013, and was also involved in about 45 cases in bordering Yuba County. Some defense attorneys are already using his arrest to seek dismissal of their cases.

“This is catnip for marijuana defense lawyers,” said Heather Burke, a Nevada City attorney who is representing a defendant in a Yuba County pot case. “It’s like straight vodka. You just know it’s going to blow it all open.”

“Now that he has been caught in a clearly sophisticated drug operation,” Burke added. “I can’t imagine them taking this (Yuba) County case to trial.”

George Mull, a Sacramento attorney for medical marijuana advocacy groups and businesses, believes that the arrest only adds to his suspicion that crooked cops are stealing raided cannabis only to sell it themselves.

“Perhaps some law enforcement officers are seizing cannabis not because they see it as a violation of law but to seize a valuable crop for their own benefit,” Mull told the Bee.

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