October 18, 2012
Contact: Casey Rettig
Phone Number: (415) 436-7900
Bakersfield Marijuana Storefront Owner And Employee Indicted
Indoor marijuana cultivation operation and firearms found inside store
FRESNO, Calif. - Raymond Arthur Gentile, 51, the owner of a marijuana storefront in Bakersfield named ANP Collective, and his employee, Gustavo Angel Salinas, 24, both of Bakersfield, were indicted today for conspiring to violate federal narcotics laws, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
The indictment charges Gentile and Salinas with three drug offenses: conspiring to cultivate, to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, cultivating marijuana, and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute marijuana. Gentile is also charged with two counts of falsifying firearm transaction records in order to acquire two Glock handguns.
According to court documents and proceedings, Bakersfield Police officers responded to the ANP Collective to investigate an alleged assault that had occurred there. In responding, the officers found a baseball bat and a Glock firearm that the assault victim indicated was used on him after he was accused of stealing a gram of marijuana during a purchase. Both Gentile and Salinas were then charged in Kern County Superior Court with a crime with intent to terrorize, attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, false imprisonment with violence, and assault with a semi-automatic firearm.
Evidence of an indoor marijuana cultivation operation was also found, and DEA agents responded with a search warrant. Agents seized 170 marijuana plants, 25 pounds of processed marijuana, nearly 3,000 pills, including suspected hydrocodone and morphine, a 12-gauge shotgun, and $68,173 in cash.
If convicted of the drug conspiracy, cultivation, and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute, Gentile and Salinas face a mandatory minimum prison term of five years and a maximum term of 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million for each count. If convicted of false statements, Gentile faces a maximum prison sentence of five years and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count. The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Salinas is scheduled to appear in federal court on October 19. Gentile is currently detained on state charges in San Bernardino County where he fled following a high speed chase by the California Highway Patrol and after DEA agents attempted to arrest him in Bakersfield on this case.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bakersfield Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Karen A. Escobar is prosecuting this case.