News Release [print friendly page]
January 19, 2006

Owner of Oakland Warehouse Convicted of Allowing Others to Use Property for Indoor Cultivation of Marijuana
Warehouse Property Forfeited
All 9 Defendants Charged Have Been Convicted

JAN 19--OAKLAND – United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that Thomas Grossi, Sr., 61, was convicted on January 10 th by a federal jury for making his warehouse property, located at 2638 Market Street in Oakland, California, available for another person to illegally cultivate marijuana. The guilty verdict followed a three-week jury trial before U.S. District Court Judge D. Lowell Jensen. This conviction is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

The investigation that led to the indictment against Mr. Grossi began on June 30, 2004, when the CHP, acting on a citizen tip, raided the Market Street warehouse and recovered, pursuant to a search warrant, in excess of 3,000 growing marijuana plants. During the course of the ensuing federal investigation by DEA, a second warehouse located at 2635 East 11 th Street was discovered. Federal charges were brought against Mr. Grossi and eight others for their role in the cultivation of marijuana at either the Market Street warehouse and/or the East 11 th Street warehouse. With Mr. Grossi’s conviction, all nine individuals charged in federal court have been convicted.

The evidence at trial established that during the period between December 2002 through December 2004, Mr. Grossi, a Contra Costa County resident, owned a total of three commercial properties in Oakland – the warehouse on Market Street; the warehouse on East 11 th Street; and a two-story building in downtown Oakland, located at 1720-1722 Telegraph Avenue/1725 Broadway. The evidence at trial established that during the period in which these properties were owned by the defendant, there were sophisticated indoor marijuana cultivation operations inside all three buildings. As a result of this conviction, Mr. Grossi’s warehouse on Market street was forfeited to the government.

The jury deadlocked on a second charge that Mr. Grossi allowed others to use the commercial warehouse on East 11 th Street, for the same illegal purpose.

The sentencing of Mr. Grossi on the charge for which he was convicted is scheduled for April 21, 2006, before Judge Jensen in Oakland. The maximum statutory penalty for Mr. Grossi’s violation of 21 U.S.C. § 856(a)(2) is 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $500,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

George Bevan Jr. is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Katheen Glynn. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the California Highway Patrol.