Liz Kellar

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June 10, 2011
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Craigslist pot seller takes plea deal

A Nevada City man arrested for allegedly trying to sell 5 pounds of marijuana on has pleaded no contest to maintaining a place for the sale or use of a controlled substance.

Gary Lester Feise, 47, allegedly put an ad on the popular Internet marketplace to sell his "extra meds" in December 2010. The advertisement listed different strains of medicinal marijuana, as well as dollar amounts for the product to help cover growing costs and delivery of the product.

Undercover officers answered the ad and met with Feise in the parking lot at Kmart on McKnight Way in Grass Valley. Feise then allegedly provided a sample of his marijuana and agreed to sell the officers 5 pounds of pot for $8,000.

Feise's residence in the 15000 block of Highway 20 was searched, and detectives allegedly found an indoor marijuana garden, packaging material, scales, and approximately one pound of processed marijuana.

Feise had been charged with illegal cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and transportation of marijuana. But on Friday morning, he pleaded no contest to a lesser charge in Nevada County Superior Court, and faces as many as three years in prison under the plea agreement.

Feise will be sentenced at 9 a.m. June 24.

A 63-year-old Grass Valley man who pleaded no contest to continual sexual abuse of a child will be evaluated to determine whether he will serve prison time.

Kenneth Alan Byrnes was arrested in August after the girl, who is now 15, told a counselor he had abused her over the course of several years, until she was 12.

Byrnes was charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, oral copulation with a child under 10, continual sexual abuse of a child and preventing a victim from reporting a crime.

He pleaded no contest to the one count in Nevada County Superior Court under a plea agreement that asks for as much as 12 years in prison. The other counts will be dismissed at his sentencing.

But Byrnes' sentencing was delayed pending a diagnostic evaluation by the state Department of Corrections as to whether he should serve time in jail or prison, or simply be placed on probation.

"We are advocating for prison," said Nevada County Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Francis. "His defense attorney is advocating probation. They will look at the totality of his history, and the possibility of any reoccurrence."

Francis estimated the evaluation could take two to three months.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, e-mail or call (530) 477-4229.

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The Union Updated Jun 12, 2011 01:36PM Published Jun 10, 2011 08:21PM Copyright 2011 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.