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THC Ministry Raid: 14 charged after Big Isle Pot Bust

THC Ministry Raid: 14 charged after Big Isle Pot Bust

Daily News @ RevolutionNews.US ~ HAWAII – US attorneys say an operation disguised as a religion was a major drug-trafficking group… Marijuana advocate Roger Christie ran a major drug trafficking organization on Hawaii island under the guise of religious freedom through the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry in downtown Hilo, said US Attorney Florence Nakakuni. “This was a large-scale business. Marijuana is big, and this group was heavily involved in it,” Nakakuni said. County and federal law enforcement officers arrested Christie, 61, and 13 other Big Island residents Thursday on federal conspiracy and marijuana manufacturing, possession and distribution charges. All 14 pleaded not guilty in federal court yesterday. US District Judge J. Michael Seabright ordered Christie; Sherryanne L. St. Cyr, 58; Richard Bruce Turpen, 59; Wesley Mark Sudbury, 32; Donald James Gibson, 40; John DeBaptist Bouey III, 51; Michael Shapiro, 61; and Aaron George Zeeman, 42, to remain in custody until next week when a federal magistrate determines whether to release them on bail pending trial. Seabright ordered Susanne Lenore Friend, 46; Timothy M. Mann, 58; Roland Gregory Ignacio, 49; Perry Emilio Policicchio, 50; Victoria C. Fiore, 28; and Jessica R. Walsh, 32, released on $25000 unsecured signature bond. Christie has maintained that he is a minister who administers marijuana as part of sacrament. “There is no law that protects his allegations of using marijuana religiously,” Nakakuni said. However

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