LAGUNA BEACH, Calif., May 14 (UPI) -- A California man who said he was growing marijuana for medicinal use was charged after police say they found almost 300 plants in his home.
Michael Eric Newman, 46, never registered his business with Laguna Beach or the state of California, police Sgt. Jason Kravetz said. After Tuesday night's raid, Newman was charged with marijuana cultivation, possession with intent to sell and conspiracy, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported.
Bail was set at $100,000.
Mary Reiner, a neighbor, said that Newman was quiet but that she was sometimes puzzled by what went on next door. Other neighbors said he recently purchased a new Mercedes, the report said.
"He was never a problem, but I always felt like there was something there I couldn't put my finger on," Reiner said. "He never made me feel unsafe, just uneasy."
During the Bush administration, federal investigators sometimes targeted California medical marijuana dispensaries. The Obama administration has promised to keep its hands off, but Laguna Beach recently declared a moratorium on dispensaries with officials saying they need time to write regulations.