Pacific Beach man accused of running lucrative marijuana business using postal service in court

Yearlong investigation nets 400 marijuana plants

SAN DIEGO - A Pacific Beach man accused of running a lucrative marijuana distribution business that sent deliveries via the U.S. Postal Service was expected in court Tuesday for preliminary hearing.
   
Chris Gillen was arrested in May at his home in the 4900 block of La Jolla Boulevard, following a yearlong investigation by the U.S. Postal Service and the Southwest Border Anti-Money Laundering Alliance's Team ONE, which includes Chula Vista police.
   
A judge will decide at the end of Tuesday's hearing whether there's enough evidence to warrant ordering the defendant, who is in his mid-20s, to stand trial on money laundering and drug charges.
   
Deputy District Attorney Stacey McReynolds said that in July 2012, the U.S. Postal Service started intercepting money packages coming back from San Diego from the East Coast.
   
The investigation uncovered a marijuana grow from which the defendant, among others, were sending marijuana to the East Coast with money sent back to San Diego, according to McReynolds.
   
About 150 pounds of marijuana were sent in all and more than 400 marijuana plants were discovered at a warehouse in San Diego upon the defendant's arrest, the prosecutor said.
   
She said a pound of marijuana sells for about $6,000 on the East Coast, compared with $1,500 to $2,000 in San Diego.

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