Nevada County pot cultivation case challenged on constitutionality issue |

Nevada County pot cultivation case challenged on constitutionality issue

The attorney for a local hydroponics business owner facing pot cultivation charges has filed a motion to dismiss his case on constitutional grounds.

Scott Andrew Denty was arrested in early June after narcotics detectives served a search warrant on his property in the 13000 block of Mountain House Road, reportedly seizing nearly 1,600 marijuana plants and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

The marijuana reportedly was being grown in three different indoor grow areas in a detached garage, as well as four different outdoor locations that included several hoop houses. Detectives also reportedly located approximately 4,000 rounds of ammunition, and vials of suspected steroids and syringes.

Denty, the owner of Grass Valley’s Hometown Hydroponics, has been charged with cultivating marijuana and possessing a controlled substance.

On Thursday, Denty pleaded not guilty to the charges. His attorney, Erica Treeby, filed a motion for dismissal, telling Superior Court Judge Robert Tice-Raskin the county’s medical marijuana cultivation ordinance is unconstitutional.

She also filed a Pitchess motion requesting the officer’s personnel records to identify any possible pattern of misconduct.

A hearing was set for Nov. 13.

No plea in counterfeit gold case

A Grass Valley gold dealer facing dozens of counts of possessing and selling counterfeit gold and financial elder abuse, as well as criminal conspiracy in a separate welfare fraud case involving his wife, has not yet made a decision on a plea agreement that could net him more than 13 years in state prison.

Gregory Arnoldi, 46, the owner of Grass Valley Gold and Silver, was arrested at his business in the 100 block of Mill Street in late February after several alleged victims filed a complaint with the District Attorney’s office, stating they purchased $175,500 worth of gold bullion bars from Arnoldi at his business.

The alleged victims said they discovered the bars they purchased were fake when they tried to redeem them at another dealer; a joint investigation was subsequently launched by District Attorney investigators and the Grass Valley Police Department.

More than 35 alleged victims — many older than 60 years old — have been identified, with some making multiple purchases. Arnoldi also has been charged with a count of tax evasion.

Shara Elaine Daly, 44, subsequently was arrested and charged with 25 felony counts of grand theft, criminal conspiracy, perjury, fraud to obtain aid, falsifying eligibility for aid and filing false documents.

Daly reportedly was on government assistance while working for her husband’s business.

A package deal has been made to Arnoldi and Daly and both would have to accept it; Arnoldi would serve 13 years and four months in prison, while Daly would face probation and some jail time.

Defense attorney Greg Klein noted in court Thursday that the plea agreement offer was to remain on the table until Oct. 29. A preliminary hearing into the evidence against Arnoldi, which he estimated would take at least a day, was set for Dec. 1.

Both Arnoldi and Daly will be back in court on Oct. 29; if they do not take the plea agreement, a hearing into the evidence against Daly will be scheduled.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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