How the DEA Used an Anonymous Letter to Target a Medical Marijuana Activist

Information released recently in a story by John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke of Reuters explained how a secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin – not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.

The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant’s Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don’t know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence – information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses.

In a previous Cannabis Culture article, I wrote about how a DEA report allegedly provided to a local task force stated that a guest at our Squaw Valley, California home, was a Jamaican drug smuggler. The person in question was not a drug dealer or Jamaican. Instead it was Cannabis Culture journalist Pete Brady, who has blonde hair and had never been to Jamaica. We now know this DEA report is a fake and was used, in part, to fraudulently persuade a judge into signing a search warrant. My article also provided documents from the DEA and DOJ that insisted there was no record of any DEA report, despite the search warrant specifically referring to a DEA report on Pete Brady.

Although we now know that the DEA document mentioned in our search warrant was a fake and therefore represents manufactured evidence and perjury by the arresting officer, that report is really just a fingerprint. An incriminating fingerprint that clearly points to the involvement of the DEA providing a fake report that later evaporated. Hence, there is a documented basis for suspecting the DEA and SOD were directly involved in my being targeted for investigation and conviction.

The real basis for launching the investigation was an anonymous letter which we now believe was written by the DEA. Please remember that according to the Reuters story about the DEA and SOD, these agents are highly trained to conduct covert operations that result in criminal convictions, but carefully conceal any direct DEA involvement. Keep this in mind as we look at the anonymous letter, which deliberately contained all the red flags needed to launch an investigation.

Some of the inflammatory statements found in the letter (with my responses):

“A utility worker has stated to expect to find 1500 to 2000 plants.”

FALSE, we had 265 plants, of which 100 were unsexed baby seedlings. While that may seem like a lot of plants, it was noncommercial sativa strains that were specific to treating my cancer and hypertension issues and took over 12 weeks to flower. No “utility worker” was ever identified or introduced as a witness. Even more to the point is that our jury heard all the evidence and decided that despite the number of plants, it was all used to treat my life-threatening adrenal cancer and all allegations of sales were baseless.

“The astonishing fact is that this person is running for California Governor! Rumors have it that he has secretly funded parts of his campaign with pot money.”

FALSE, my campaign reports detailed where every penny for my campaign came from and the prosecution was unable to show any evidence, whatsoever, to support this allegation. However, we believe this is highly incriminating evidence against the DEA, because it suggests the investigation was politically motivated and intended to target me for my political activities.

“The other word going around is that he believes it is helpful to give pot to his two year old daughter on a regular basis.”

FALSE, no evidence was ever provided in trial to substantiate this outrageous allegation. We believe this allegation was based upon our use of legal hempseed oil and that any knowledge regarding our use of this oil had to come from illegal surveillance, prior to this letter being written and well before any investigation had been officially authorized.

“The number to check out these facts is believed to be: 916-581-1112.”

TRUE, this phone number led police to a friend I paid to help me set up my legal cannabis garden. We find it suspicious that instead of a name or address, this letter provided a phone number, something that suggests our phone calls were being surveilled by whomever wrote this anonymous letter. (This number has changed owners, so please don’t call it.)

After our trial, we were outraged at how we had been targeted, how we had been threatened with sentences of 40 years to life had we lost, and the clear political nature of the attacks against me. So we left the USA, to seek refugee protection in Canada from political persecution.

Investigative journalist Patrick McCartney, who had spent more than two years of research into the reasons why medical marijuana users were being arrested and prosecuted despite the passage of Prop. 215, testified that he believed the letter was written by law enforcement and based upon my political activities:

The Kubbys never would have been investigated had it not been for an anonymous letter sent to law enforcement on July 2, 1998, during the final months of the gubernatorial campaign. The letter may not have caught the attention of the North Tahoe Drug Task Force were it not for two key fabrications.

1. First the letter claimed the authorities could ‘expect to find 1,500 to 2,000 plants.’ The exaggeration could have been a deliberate lie to pique the interest of federal DEA members of the Tahoe task force. For it is well known in criminal-justice circles that federal prosecutors are only interested in pursuing cases involving more than 500 or 1,000 plants in some jurisdictions.

2. And then the second fabrication, one conceivably meant to play on the justice system’s responsibility for protecting children from harm. ‘The other word going around is that he believes it is helpful to give pot to his two year old daughter on a regular basis.’ What allegation could outrage a police officer more than the thought that some zealot would force marijuana on his child? The claim was a clever distortion of the Kubby practice of using nutritious hempseed oil as part of their vegetarian diet.

The anonymous letter that launched the Kubby investigation was replete with innuendo and rumor, and overly aware of ‘the astonishing fact that this person is running for California Governor!

Did the task force seek to confirm the allegation that Kubby was selling marijuana to support himself and his political campaign? No. The narcotics officers never sought to buy marijuana from Kubby. They never stopped anyone leaving the Kubby home and searched for marijuana. They never observed any trafficking activity whatsoever.

There are also other reasons to suspect this anonymous letter:

– The letter was sent to the Sheriff Dept. in South Lake Tahoe, “Attention Detective Division,” which we find suspicious, because it implies a familiarity with police command structure that most anonymous letters would not normally contain. Indeed, McCartney believes the entire letter suggests a police mentality and vocabulary. Also, the letter was sent to the wrong jurisdiction, suggesting the writer was unfamiliar with California jurisdictions.

– The letter contains specific information that would suggest we were under surveillance prior to this letter being written. How did they know we rented? How did they know I gave legal hempseed oil, purchased at our local health food store, to our daughter?

– My friend, who helped me with the garden, was not identified by name or address, but by phone number, which we also believe resulted from illegal pre-investigation surveillance of our phone calls.

– The identity of the author of this letter has never been revealed and, until the revelations from the Reuters story, we had absolutely no idea of who might have done this to us or how they would know so many details.

Patrick McCartney also provided specific information to the Refugee Board regarding the carefully organized response by federal and state law enforcement to target, arrest and convict anyone attempting to exercise their rights under Prop. 215.

Here is a copy of the Anonymous Letter:

Read the a PDF of the testimony by journalist Patrick McCartney, given to the Canadian Refugee Board, in our efforts to seek refugee protection in Canada from being targeted in the USA as a political prisoner.