Sequim man with medical pot papers turns himself in
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A Sequim Police officer holds a suitcase containing five bags of marijuana, containing an estimated one pound each of marijuana. -- Photo by Sequim Police Department

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

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SEQUIM -- A Sequim man turned himself in to police Tuesday after officers found an estimated 15 to 20 pounds of packaged marijuana and 44 marijuana plants in his East Prairie Street home Monday afternoon.

Eric J. Papineau, 50, had medical marijuana certificates in the house, according to Sequim police spokeswoman Maris Turner.

The documents were in his name and in the names of several others -- but the amount of pot in Papineau's home exceeded the legal amount for medical marijuana patients to have on hand, Turner said.

State law permits an individual who qualifies for medical marijuana to have a 60-day supply of the drug at one time; the state defines a two-month supply as 24 ounces.

Officers also found LSD in the house, she said.

Papineau is charged with four class C felonies: manufacturing marijuana, possession of more than 40 grams of marijuana, intent to deliver marijuana and possession of a hallucinogen.

If convicted, Papineau could be sentenced to up to six months in the county jail, said Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Troberg.

Police have learned that Papineau had recently contacted Sequim City Attorney Craig Ritchie to inquire about the legality of a marijuana dispensary business, Turner said.

Ritchie told Papineau that state law prohibits such dispensaries, she said.

Turner said the size of the marijuana processing operation is "very unusual" for Sequim, and significantly larger than a Clallam County Sheriff's Department bust that yielded 11 pounds of marijuana in 2006.

Sequim police officers discovered the operation after they were called to the 100 block of East Prairie Street at about 2 p.m. Monday to help the city's code compliance officer, Lisa Hopper, with some illegally parked cars.

Officer Paul Dailidenas smelled what he believed to be marijuana coming from Papineau's residence, Turner said.

Dailidenas applied for and received a warrant to search the house that afternoon.

Papineau wasn't home during the search, added Turner, but officers reached his attorney during service of the warrant.

On the scene initially Monday afternoon were four Sequim police officers; three more came on at the beginning of the swing shift to help collect evidence, Turner said. Four volunteers in police service were also called in to assist.

Inside the house, officers discovered numerous bags of pot and the dozens of plants either growing or being dried.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-681-2391 or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 26. 2010 11:32PM
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