Perjury Entangles Sheriff Deputy in Embarrassing Web As Activists Look On

March 2, 2016
By Terrie Best – San Diego Americans for Safe Access

deputy-sheriff-matt-stevens-narcotic-task-force-team-9

Courtroom sketch of Deputy Sheriff Matt Stevens at the Little’s trial where he was sanctioned for testilying.
Credit: Rory Murray

San Diego, CA – Today in the on-going trial of John Mazula – a medical cannabis patient charged with manufacturing concentrated cannabis – we heard the last of the prosecution’s case. This consisted of the same testimony we’ve been hearing from various narcotic experts all week in the case heard in El Cajon except, Matt Stevens, the much derided San Diego sheriff deputy who once raided and took 29 cannabis plants to the dump then testified they weighed 680 pounds, took the stand.

The day began with a chemist’s testimony and the jury heard again how to push butane through a tube of cannabis, then how to purge the butane to leave honey oil. We heard this from the investigating officer Kobs, we heard it twice yesterday and again this morning. It was exhausting and in the end, the judge, Lantz Lewis, had to put a stop to it. After the chemist testified, the state called Deputy Stevens. This particular sheriff deputy has been a prominent feature in the raids and intimidation perpetrated by San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’s Narcotic Task Force. I first encountered Stevens in the much publicized trial of Dennis and Deborah Little, 1521316_10201803520315767_286230664_n[1]where as mentioned above, he lied about what he found on the Little property. The Littles have told their story and filed a civil lawsuit which includes Stevens because of the lie. Also, rising above the victimization, the Littles are court support champions and were there for Steven’s testimony today. Even though Dennis and Deborah were staring right at him and the deputy knew it, he lied about his own lying. But, not before he tried to use the Little’s pending civil suit against him to simply duck the subject. The judge ordered Stevens to answer the defense’s impeaching questions. He is caught – Stevens was sanctioned for the original lie by Judge Munroy in the Little’s Vista case so there is proof of the falsehood which, if defense counsel Michael Cindrich can produce, will unravel this web of new lies.

pot_t_shirt_blacked_out_1414108754597_9310923_ver1.0_640_480[1]Another victim of NTF’s Team 9 – the law enforcement gang who routinely target legal medical cannabis patients – was also vindicated today when a tee-shirt came up in court and embarrassed the prosecution, or should have. A year ago, Team 9 responded to a mysterious burglary at activist Marcus Boyd’s office and small cannabis garden. One of the team was wearing a shirt which said “Fuck the Growers, Marijuana is still illegal.” The offending officer was publically reprimanded after activists made sure the tee-shirt hit the news. Today in court Mr. Cindrich remembered the incident and questioned Stevens about it on the stand. Stevens said, arms quickly folded across his chest, as a Team 9 member he was also given a “fuck the growers” shirt but he never wore his and threw it away. Maybe at the dump with the Little’s 29 plants.

The prosecution rested their case after not having proven anything but that law enforcement are experts at reciting how to make butane honey oil. They were to have proven John was making BHO, they didn’t do it. And, there’s no honey oil, no blasted plant material, no used filters, piles of empty butane tanks or lengths of glass tubing to help them either.

The defense called their first witness around 2:30 this afternoon. Two of the collective’s patient members testified to receiving cannabis but not concentrates from John. After that, Tracy, John’s wife testified. Tracy is a lovely woman with a dazzling smile and kind, soft eyes. I know she was scared but she stayed strong and confident, I’m sure the jurors saw she was truthful.

After the jury was dismissed for the day, the prosecutor worked hard to get the testimony about the Stevens’ sanctioning in the Little case stricken from the record. The judge denied this request. I hope it is a trend that judges refuse to participate in excusing the dishonesty that comes from the DA’s office and law enforcement.

The Mazula’s have endured Team 9 and the underhanded, bias-driven prosecution since John was raided and arrested in 2014. Their ordeal is almost over. Please come down and say hello to John and his family. The trail is expected to last through tomorrow with deliberations beginning as early as Friday morning. You will find us in Dept. 8 of the El Cajon Superior court at 250 E Main St, El Cajon, CA 92020.

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