Felony charges filed against head of illegal hash oil operation in San Diego

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Felony charges were filed Wednesday against the alleged head of an illegal hash oil manufacturing and distribution operation in San Diego and five other defendants, including an attorney.

The defendants are accused of conspiracy to use flammable, volatile and/or toxic chemicals to extract THC from marijuana, to purify concentrated cannabis, to illegally sell hash oil out of state for a profit and to proactively hide such activity from city inspectors.

The criminal complaint filed in San Diego Superior Court alleges that between January 2015 and January 2016, defendant James Slatic, 58, acting as both CEO of the nonprofit corporation Pacific Heights Partners Inc. and Med-West, raked in more than $3.2 million in profits through the illegal sale of concentrated hash oil.

The complaint alleges that during a city inspection in April 2015, attorney Jessica McElfresh, 35, acting as counsel for Med-West, concealed the chemical extraction of concentrated cannabis conducted on site. She allegedly told a city investigator that Med-West did not operate on site and led inspectors to believe the business was merely a packaging and paper company.

Charges include conspiracy to commit a crime, manufacturing a controlled substance, conspiracy to obstruct justice, exporting more than four grams of concentrated cannabis, possession of illegal proceeds over $100,000, and money laundering.

If convicted of all charges, the various defendants face up to 15 years and four months in local jail or prison.

Court documents in the yearlong investigation allege thatMcElfresh worked with Slatic to ensure that all evidence of the manufacturing and possession of concentrated cannabis was removed before a scheduled inspection.

Categories: Local San Diego News