by R.L. McCullough
Santa Barbara, Ca.—July 7, 2009
Overnight FedEx delivery became no delivery when search warrants were served at residences in the exclusive Montecito neighborhood as well as the beachfront community of nearby Summerland.
After intercepting aromatic FedEx shipments bound for New York City, Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Narcotics Detectives made widespread illegal marijuana trafficking felony arrests in separate resort-community locations this week.
Sixty-nine-year-old Michael Shapiro, a longtime Summerland local, was awakened early in the morning to discover a phalanx of heavily-armed deputies in his backyard, where they discovered a seriously sophisticated indoor and outdoor plantation in full operation. More than 400 active marijuana plants, five pounds of processed marijuana, substantial amounts of psilocybin, a cache of ecstasy pills and $18,000 in cash were ultimately seized as evidence of Mr. Shapiro’s alleged entrepreneurial misdeeds. Total value of the goods seized is estimated to exceed $800,000, far beyond the scope of California’s Proposition 215 providing for the “home grower” of medicinal marijuana.
Accomplices of Shapiro, Donald Bullick and Misha Ford were arrested at their Montecito home. Charges against them range from Conspiracy (182PC), Cultivation of Marijuana for Sale (11359 H&S), Possession of cocaine (11377 H&S), Possession of Ecstasy (11360 H&S) and transportation of these substances for sale.