Recently the remaining members (three total) of the ‘Kettle Falls Five’ were convicted on federal marijuana charges. One of the members of the case was already convicted, and charges were dropped against the last member (Larry Harvey, R.I.P.). There is a legal fund setup right now on IndieGoGo to help them appeal their case. If you are able, please consider donating. There is no reason why in this day and age this case should have even been brought to trial. Below is more information about the legal fund (you can donate to this link right here):
The Kettle Falls Five are 5 qualified medical marijuana patients in Washington State that have been prosecuted & persecuted by the United States Federal Government since 2012 and were just sentenced to years in Federal Prison for following their doctors medical marijuana prescriptions and theirs Washington State law. A little background on the events leading up to now:
- August 9th, 2012 (first SWAT team raid) – Stevens County Sheriff’s office, WA State Patrol, US Border Patrol & DEA officers and agents conduct a SWAT team raid after the United States Civil Air Patrol flew over Rhonda & Larry Harvey’s 33 acre property and spotted what they thought was a small outdoor medical marijuana grow. The first raid was executed with a Stevens County Sheriff’s office warrant. Rhonda was the only one home. Immediately Rhonda shared the 5 valid medical marijuana prescriptions with the Sheriff. The Sheriff called the local county prosecutor who told the Sheriff to not arrest anyone but to leave the 45 plants in the ground because they were following & in compliance with the state law RCW 69.51a. Even though these state legal medical marijuana patients were in compliance with state law, the Sheriff’s office still confiscated and seized all of Larry’s hunting rifles and the Honda four-wheeler the older couple used to drive around their property. This may have been because DEA agent Sam Keiser was present. Although this first SWAT team raid was under the jurisdiction of Sgt. Loren A. Erdman who was sworn to uphold State law.
- August 16th, 2012 (second SWAT team raid) – Stevens County Sheriff’s office, WA State Patrol, US Border Patrol & DEA officers and agents conduct a second SWAT team raid 7 days after the State raid, this time with a Federal Search Warrant led by DEA agent Sam Keiser. They proceeded to destroy the 45 harmless outdoor medical marijuana plants, to confiscate & seize Rhonda’s 2006 Saturn SUV, two Suzuki motorcycles, the home computer & $ 700 in cash. No arrests were made that day. The US government DEA thugs simply came with automatic weapons & moving trucks then destroyed, stole property that wasn’t theirs and left.
- February 2013 – United States Government charges and arrests 5 sate legal medical marijuana patients via Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington Michael Ormsby who charged Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, Larry Harvey, Rolland Gregg, Michelle Gregg & Heather Zucker with the following 7 major federal drug charges including:
- 21 U.S.C. S 846 Conspiracy to Manufacture and Distribute 100 or More Marijuana Plants (Count 1)
- 21 U.S.C. S 841 (a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. S 2 Manufacture of 100 or More Marijuana Plants, (Count 2)
- 21 U.S.C. S 841 (a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. S 2 Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana (Count 3)
- 21 U.S.C S 841 (a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. S 2 Distribution of Marijuana
- 18 U.S.C. S 924 (c) Possession of a Firearm In Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime (Count 5)
- 21 U.S.C. S 856 (a)(1) Maintaining a Drug Involved Premise
- 21 U.S.C. S 853 Notice of Criminal Forfeiture
- February 2013 (third SWAT team raid) – Stevens County Sheriff’s office, WA State Patrol, US Border Patrol, Kirkland Police, Seattle Police & DEA officers/agents conduct a SWAT team raid on 3 separate houses at 6 AM. Rhonda & Larry Harvey near Kettle Falls, WA; their son & daughter and law’s house in Kirkland, WA; Jason & Heather Zucker in Seattle, WA.
- Everyone was arrested & taken to Federal Prison and released after weeks in prison. Everyone was released on what’s called “appearance bonds.” Meaning all 5 medical marijuana patients now had to follow 16 different ‘conditions of release’. Meaning that if we didn’t follow the US governments orders, we would be taken back to Prison immediately (can’t leave the State of WA, can’t follow our doctors orders and use our medical marijuana for the ailments that the doctors prescribed us the mmj, can’t have contact with ANY of the other co-defendants, can’t be out of the house past 9 PM, must drive to Federal Probation office in Seattle & Spokane to pee in a cup and take urine analysis every week and many more conditions).
- 2013, 2014 we fight to push the court case out with continuances in hopes that Congress will change the laws as we lobby hard in Washington D.C. Larry Harvey and Kari Boiter from Americans For Safe Access make many trips to Washington D.C. to testify before Congress about how the Federal drug laws are harming innocent patients and usurping State Medical Marijuana Laws being passed by The People in 40 states now.
- December 17th, 2014 – President Obama signs into law the first time ever that Medical Marijuana was mentioned and protected from Federal interference with Section 538 of the 2015 Continuing Appropriations Act, the “cromnibus”. We thought this would stop the prosecution because Section 538 states, “None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”
- March 3rd, 2015 – The trial starts at the Thomas Foley US Federal Courthouse in Spokane, WA. Six days later after a full day of jury deliberation, the jury comes back with not-guilty on 4 of 5 charges. The last charge was actually a “lesser included crime” of manufacturing over 50 and under 100 plants. So we were literally convicted of exactly what is legal under Washington State Medical Marijuana laws RCW 69.51a.
- October 2nd, 2015 – Sentencing for the manufacturing over 50 and under 100 plants at the Thomas Foley US Federal Courthouse in Spokane, WA. Rhonda Firestack-Harvey receives 1 year and 1 day in Federal Prison and 3 years of Federal Probation, Michelle Gregg received 1 year and 1 day in Federal Prison and Rolland Gregg received 33 months in prison and 3 years probation.
What We Need & What You Get
We need your help with spreading the world and funding our appeals process as we make our way to the 9th Circuit and eventually to the Supreme Court.
- Effective attorneys aren’t usually free. So far Phil Telfeyan with EqualJusticeUnderLaw.org has been defending our family Pro Bono. He needs help and a budget to work with.
- When we win at the Supreme Court we hope to make Cannabis federally legal nationwide & worldwide after that.
- The funds will go towards our legal fight, there are so many expenses that have come out of our pocket to fight this battle the last 3 years. For example the US Federal Government has spent over $ 2.5 million dollars prosecuting us and we’ve spent thousands in comparison with help from friends and family.
The impact will be rolling back the Federal governments powers which are currently impeding on our individual liberties and our god given rights to decide what foods we eat and what medicines we take care of ourselves and our loved ones with.
- When the Supreme Court overturns our manufacturing conviction, this will open up a new world of liberties and freedoms we do not have now.
- So far we have defended ourselves from the tyrranical oppression of the DEA and the full force of the US Department of Injustice and we will not stop until the record is set straight.
- We will be doing video updates of our progress and other ways you can help!
Risks & Challenges
The risks are that if we don’t overturn this conviction not only will we go to prison for years but it will set a precedent that could turn back all of the progress that the states and the people have made over the last 30 years in rolling back the draconian US cannabis laws.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you cannot donate, please share the link and the campaign and tell everyone you know about this.