The 53-year-old owner of two local marijuana collectives was jailed by a federal judge Friday after he blogged to his clients that they could buy pot at another dispensary and he "would vouch for them."
Clovis resident Mark Bagdasarian had been free after his indictment last week by a federal grand jury.
Bagdasarian and his son, Ryan Bagdasarian, 24, also of Clovis, were charged in a four-count indictment with conspiring to cultivate and distribute marijuana and possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it. Mark Bagdasarian also was charged with cultivating marijuana.
In a federal court hearing Friday, however, U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis Beck found that Mark Bagdasarian had violated a set of rules that he agreed to in exchange for prosecutors allowing him to remain free while his case works it way through the courts.
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Mark Bagdasarian was arrested Wednesday after he posted statements on his blog telling clients of his Buds 4 Life store that another collective in Southern California would sell marijuana to them "at his rate of $10 and that he would vouch for them," according to a statement by federal prosecutors.
Because Bagdasarian violated the terms of his release within a week, Beck said, it was unlikely any set of rules could be established that the marijuana collective owner would follow.
According to court documents, between April 2010 and this month, the Bagdasarians conspired to distribute marijuana through Buds 4 Life at 3705 N. Clovis Ave. in Tarpey Village and Buds 4 Life North at 16906 N. Friant Road in Friant.
Federal officials allege that in June, the Bagdasarians' stores were searched and law-enforcement officers found 3,669 marijuana plants, 219 pounds of processed marijuana and more than $546,000 in cash. One defendant said that the business was generating $30,000 to $50,000 per day in revenue.
In August 2011, they reopened a store. A more recent search yielded another 35 pounds of processed marijuana and $40,000 in cash.
The two Buds 4 Life collectives were among five dispensaries raided June 1 under state warrants. They were alleged to be profiting from marijuana sales, which law-enforcement authorities said is illegal under state law.
Both Bagdasarians have a court hearing Nov. 4 before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill. If ultimately convicted on the charges, they face a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10 million fine.