Local News

Kettle Falls Five defendants acquitted on four of five charges

Kettle Falls Five defendants acquitted on four of five charges

SPOKANE, Wash. - A trio of defendants in the Kettle Falls Five case were found guilty on just one of the five charges they faced Tuesday afternoon in federal court in Spokane.

Rhonda Lee Firestack-Harvey, her son Roland Gregg and his wife Michelle were found guilty of growing marijuana on their property near Colville. The three were found not guilty of conspiracy, trafficking and firearms charges.

"The jury has confirmed what we knew all along," Attorney Phil Telfeyan said. "This was a family doing nothing more than growing medical marijuana for themselves."

The case pits one interpretation of Washington's marijuana laws against federal laws which prohibit pot and involves the group originally known as the Kettle Falls Five.

Last month the family patriarch, Larry Harvey, had his charges dropped because of failing health.Then, last week, hours before the trial began, a second defendant, family friend Jason Zucker, took a plea deal and in exchange agreed to testify against the remaining three defendants.

The group is accused of illegally growing marijuana on property they own near Colville. The federal government says they were then selling it illegally, but the group said they were growing marijuana legally under the state's medical marijuana law for their own use.

"The jury's verdict in this case sends a strong rebuke to the Federal Government," Telfeyan said. "Stop messing around with what medical patients and these states are doing."

Sentencing on the manufacturing charge will happen in early June.

"We'll be fighting that as well because Congress has told the Department of Justice to not spend money on these kind of cases," Telfyan said.