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United States v. 2006 Kubota L3400 Tractor

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 29, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
2006 KUBOTA L3400 TRACTOR, VIN: 25736; 2008 HONDA TRX700XX ATV, VIN: JH2TE36048K003093, CALIFORNIA LICENSE NUMBER: 77H59K; 2002 HONDA XR650R MOTORCYCLE, VIN: JH2RE01152K300986, CALIFORNIA LICENSE NUMBER: 16B7927; 2005 MALIBU WAKESETTER MOTORBOAT, VIN: MB251799B505, CALIFORNIA CF NUMBER: 5906RD; and 2005 EXTREME CARRIER BOAT TRAILER, VIN: 5DBBB25275R000321, CALIFORNIA LICENSE NUMBER: 4KP9757, Defendants.

          PHILLIP A. TALBERT United States Attorney KEVIN C. KHASIGIAN Assistant U.S. Attorney Attorneys for the United States.

          CONSENT JUDGMENT OF FORFEITURE

          MORRISON C. ENGLAND, JR., JUDGE.

         Pursuant to the Stipulation for Consent Judgment of Forfeiture, the Court finds:

         1. On October 12, 2011, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") executed a federal search warrant seized at 25818 Burda Lane, Nevada City, California and seized the following assets:

a. 2006 Kubota L3400 Tractor, VIN: 25736;
b. 2008 Honda TRX700XX ATV, VIN: JH2TE36048K003093, California License Number: 77H59K;
c. 2002 Honda XR650R Motorcycle, VIN: JH2RE01152K300986, California License Number: 16B7927;
d. 2005 Malibu Wakesetter Motorboat, VIN: MB251799B505, California CF Number: 5906RD; and
e. 2005 Extreme Carrier Boat Trailer, VIN: 5DBBB25275R000321, California License Number: 4KP9757.

         2. DEA commenced administrative forfeiture proceedings, sending direct written notice to all known potential claimants and publishing notice to all others. On or about December 28, 2011, DEA received a claim from Ethan Lee Stuart ("Stuart") asserting an ownership interest in the assets listed above.

         3. The United States represents that it could show at a forfeiture trial that on October 12, 2011, law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at 25818 Burda Lane, Nevada City, California and found indoor and outdoor marijuana cultivation sites. The indoor marijuana cultivation site was located inside a greenhouse on the east side of the property and contained eighteen marijuana plants ranging from ten to fourteen feet tall. Additionally, agents found manicured marijuana in the kitchen and refrigerator in the main residence occupied by Stuart; and numerous boxes of rifle and pistol ammunition matching the rifle discovered during the search of the adjacent 25863 Burda Lane, Nevada City, California - executed simultaneously on October 12, 2011. Agents discovered additional marijuana stalks in different stages of preparation - i.e., drying on screens and trimming/manicuring -in the residence's detached garage. Agents found a total of 3, 380 pounds of marijuana (total marijuana plant weight, not just flower and buds) at Stuart's property, at 25818 Burda Lane in Nevada City, California.[1]

         4. The United States represents that it could further show at a forfeiture trial that Stuart was in the residence during the search and told agents that he purchased the property in the early 2000's with his common law wife, Jamie Crantelle Merenda ("Merenda"). According to Stuart, he had occasionally worked construction and grew marijuana. Stuart acknowledged that he was growing marijuana and that marijuana proceeds paid for all of his "toys."

         5. The United States could further show at a forfeiture trial that the defendant assets listed above are forfeitable to the United States pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6).

         6. Without admitting the truth of the factual assertions contained above, Stuart specifically denying the same, and for the purpose of reaching an amicable resolution and compromise of this matter, potential claimant Stuart agrees that an adequate factual basis exists to support forfeiture of the defendant assets. Stuart hereby acknowledges that he is the sole owner of the defendant assets, and that no other person or entity has any legitimate claim of interest therein. Should any person or entity institute any kind of claim or action ...


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