91 pounds of pot, 658 plants found in South Tahoe

By Kathryn Reed

Between two storage sheds, a house and a vehicle in South Lake Tahoe 91 pounds of pot and 658 marijuana plants were confiscated.

The bust started when a California Highway Patrol officer pulled John Morrissey, 29, of South Lake Tahoe over for reportedly going 50mph on Highway 50. He was arrested on charges of transporting 6.5 pounds of processed marijuana.

This led to a search warrant being executed May 19 by South Lake El Dorado Narcotics Enforcement Team officers at two storage units at 2140 Emerald Bay Road and Morrissey’s residence at 1842 Guadalupe St.

“He had packages for sale ready to, other parts were drying and other parts were on racks,” explained Jeff Catchings, SLEDNET commander.

Catchings said the storage sheds were big enough to pull a tractor-trailer into.

At the suspect’s house officers said they found 30 grams of psilocybin mushrooms and two gummy bears injected with LSD. They also confiscated a butane honey oil extraction lab that is used to extract pure THC from the plant.

“It’s on the same scale as operating a meth lab,” Catchings said.

The street value of the marijuana is about $230,000. It sells for between $2,000 and $3,000 a pound.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Morrissey’s partner, Jonah Shanks of South Lake Tahoe, for cultivation and conspiracy to distribute.

Catchings said Morrissey told officers he was selling to one of the collectives in town. That particular collective denied buying from Morrissey. Morrissey does not possess a medical marijuana card.

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Comments (61)
  1. Romie says - Posted: May 25, 2011

    Maybe John Morrissey and Jonah Shanks suffer from illnesses? Like a loss of appetite or difficulty sleeping.

    I’d hate to think that CHP and SLEDNET may be denying vital medicine to these two young men.

    Hopefully Steve Kubby can get to the bottom of this.

  2. Agnes says - Posted: May 25, 2011

    They are nothing but a bunch of criminals.

  3. BiG KeV says - Posted: May 25, 2011

    Well there’s a lesson for all the suppliers out there, drive the speed limit.

  4. jman says - Posted: May 25, 2011

    Thank God they weren’t making Prozac or Zoloft. Or brewing beer. Or growing tobacco.

  5. the conservation robot says - Posted: May 25, 2011

    Think about this for a bit.
    We made a plant illegal. As time has passed, studies have been declassified, propaganda and blatant lies have been exposed.
    And it is still illegal.

    Prohibition does not work.

  6. Bob says - Posted: May 26, 2011

    Unfortunately the owner of the property must now pay to evict these tenants. Where does that money come from Mr. Robot and Jman?

  7. dumbfounded says - Posted: May 26, 2011

    And, besides the tin foil hat issue with chemtrails, where does the article say anything about the property being a rental property? Maybe, Bob, making assumptions is part of the problem. Lighten up just a little. All is not death, doom and destruction.

  8. Tahoe Thomas says - Posted: May 26, 2011

    He probably had undiagnosed glaucoma and couldn’t see the speedometer. On his way to see the pot doc… Drive the speed limit or lose your weed and rights. That weed could have relieved allot of stress in this town. Alcohol and prescription drugs are still the #1 and 2 drugs in our country.

  9. Bob says - Posted: May 26, 2011

    I know the owner DUMB. Now I know why you call yourself that. I also love how people make assumptions about these chemtrails without doing their research. It’s out there if you care to research. The people at Auchwitz said ok as they were told their luggage would arrive later. You’re naive.

  10. the conservation robot says - Posted: May 26, 2011

    Sell the equipment found in the house, give the proceeds to the owner of the house.
    No one wants to get the slightest bit creative here.
    KEEP PLANT ILLEGAL! Protect the children! Protect our corporations! Protect the prison-industrial complex!

    Also, who believes in chemtrails?

  11. Borderline Alcoholic says - Posted: May 26, 2011

    Robot.. What universe were you born in? U running for miss america? How bout making alcohol illegal? Talk about protecting the children. Start there… Those guys were idiots. If it was legal they would have no need to have warehouses of the stuff. Whats worse daily weed or whisky? Anyone?

  12. snoheather says - Posted: May 26, 2011

    Borderline- I believe Robot was being sarcastic with their comment.

  13. Judy says - Posted: May 27, 2011

    They need to get a real job like most people and work for a living and pay taxes this kind of illegal behavior costs the tax payers money to prosecute the bums. They should be paying taxes like the rest of us. Keep the drugs off the streets and out of the hands of the children. Good job to our police officers.

  14. YEup says - Posted: May 29, 2011

    I know both of these guys, they r actually legitamate in what they were doing and stand up individuals.this is most unfortunate considering they were in compliance and actually went through numerous inspections wm county authorities who have on official record told them they were in compliance. to call these guys bums is not right! They may grow pot but it all goes to a collective that helps patients in our community! These two r the knda guys that would pull over and help you fix your flat on a rainy day!anyone who knows them would say the same.yet another arrest that was completely unneccessary, and we wonder why tahoe economy is in such despair. I wonder how much of there “$230000” would have been spent in the community?

  15. YEup says - Posted: May 29, 2011

    HOw do we know they werent paying taxes? I know they are both homeowners in town kinda hard to avoid property taxes for starters. I wonder how much money the county loses when people lose there home due to finacial hardship related to unreasonable arrests. Arresting individuals like john morrissey and jonah shanks is the community’s equivelent to shooting itself in the foot! Good job slednet!

  16. Afriend says - Posted: May 29, 2011

    First off I know both of those guys and they are not bad people. They do not sell drugs on the streets. They provide it to the collections in your city which I am not sure but I do believe it is taxed. With all this bad talk dont try to assume everything you read is true. I had to correct the Author a few times which he confirmed he only goes off of what the police typed in their report. Slednet needs to take care of the bigger problems in that town like all the heroine that is being pushed around and all the stupid tweakers. These guys DO have a papers to grow. How do you think those Collective clubs get their supply? Duh. I am not a patient nor do I smoke the stuff illegaly, I am just someone who knows they are not bad guys so don’t try to make them out to be.

  17. Afriend says - Posted: May 29, 2011

    Correction* the author I corrected was from the Tribune Not Kathryn Reed

  18. Afriend says - Posted: May 29, 2011

    And do you really think a collective club is going to tell the truth if they bought it from someone who does not have a card??? Maybe SLEDNET needs to look in to that as well.

  19. dogwoman says - Posted: May 29, 2011

    Funny all the folks saying these are standup guys who only grow to provide the collectives. I wasn’t aware the collectives sold magic mushrooms and LSD gummy bears.

  20. the conservation robot says - Posted: May 29, 2011

    They don’t. Moron.
    Hey it is almost Memorial Day and guess what…
    There are more drugs in this country today than yesterday.
    Prohibition does not work.
    Also, how many of you know that the US government imported cocaine during the Reagan administration and helped start the crack epidemic.
    But lets throw some people with pot and psychedelics in jail.
    I am starting to wonder if the people who fight against drugs are less intelligent than the people who use them.

  21. dogwoman says - Posted: May 29, 2011

    Thanks for calling me a moron.
    Duh! I KNOW they don’t sell those things at the collectives. I thought you spoke fluent sarcasm? Apparently you aren’t quite as smart as you think you are.

  22. the conservation robot says - Posted: May 29, 2011

    That was a poor display of sarcasm. Did you know I am fluent in condescension too? (note you can’t speak a concept, which is why that statement is moronic too)
    I am also a moron. But I am aware of it and attempt to do something about it.

  23. lou pierini says - Posted: May 29, 2011

    Whats new?

  24. YEup says - Posted: May 30, 2011

    I would hardly call 2 gummy bears and 30 grams of mushrooms an amount large enough to justify being a dealer of phsycodelics, obvoiusly that was for personal use. Regardless, ive interacted w morrissey in the past, he plumbed a good portion of my home! He was a very polite, intelligent, honest man who took great pride in his work. I would love to run into him around town just to reassure him that there are more people pulling for him in this community than he may realize! Hang in there john we know who you really are…

  25. What goes around!!! says - Posted: May 31, 2011

    If you think you know John you’re delusional. He’s only nice to those he’s making money off of and when he’s done with you he’ll toss you aside just like every other person in his life! Greed is an ugly thing! Which is a major factor in why he’s such an ugly person! I feel bad for Jonah he’s probably his next scapegoat victim!

  26. Anonfriend says - Posted: May 31, 2011

    Who the hell has hallucinogenic drugs in children’s candy when you’re a father of three? What kind of father is that???

  27. Nonsense says - Posted: May 31, 2011

    Romie use your brain. Regardless of illness which they may have, who in this whole entire world needs 658 plants and needs to pull 91 pounds to keep their illness at bay? It’s obvious that no person, I don’t care how much you puff, can smoke that much weed themself!

  28. Reno Resident says - Posted: May 31, 2011

    If you really knew this guy or are the friends you say you are, then you would know the damage this DRUG (weed) has caused his family over the last 5 years. Your comments have no justification. It’s tragic that this dark cloud of smoke reeks on unsuspecting people.

  29. tahoeteacher says - Posted: June 1, 2011

    These comments are ridiculous, john is an amazing father, but since he had gummy bears now what, that discount that fact shame on you people. How is Jonah a scapegoat when he was John’s partner and he benefited greatly for that. What goes around, you obviously have no true knowledge of john’s personality and who he really is, he doesn’t make money off of anybody, everything goes to city of angels as far I know. Bet you didn’t read about the 13 time cards they found during the raid, it appears he was paying every employee 20$ an hour, wow th
    at sound pretty generous for Tahoe wages. Sound to me like there are alot of people who rely on john to support
    Their families through fair wages, think about that. Who’s really making money off of who here? If you do the research you may find that the authorities only found
    28 lbs. Its disgusting how much misinformation the news puts out there. Sounds like your getting your personal information about john from the same sources.

  30. Whatgoesaround says - Posted: June 1, 2011

    I know all to well who John is, from personal experience not through information passed on to me. So there goes your little theory. He let his father take the fall for him last time he was busted! His own father. The man has a problem with compulsive lying! He needed those people he was paying or else he would have to do all that work himself. What’s 20 dollars an hour to his ” cronies ” as he would put it, when he’s stacking cash! All the stuff they were doing for him was making him money! And no duh he has to pay them they won’t do it for free!? 20/h is the going rate for that type of work anywhere! They could have trimmed anywhere for that price. So you check your facts.

  31. the conservation robot says - Posted: June 1, 2011

    I am all for anonymity on the internet. But if you are going to gossip about someone, and make them look bad, when you can’t really prove anything you say, you should use your real name.
    Also, did weed damage his family because of the effects of the drug, or because it is illegal?
    If you support this plant being illegal you are a moron who has been well programmed.

  32. dogwoman says - Posted: June 1, 2011

    Bongo, you need to stop calling people morons. It’s incredibly rude.
    Again, I have to ask ANOTHER “friend” of this guy (tahoe teacher– how scary) who claims John makes no money off this and it all goes to City of Angels–didn’t know city of angels sold magic mushrooms and lsd gummie bears.
    Whether or not one believes marijuana should be legal (I do) what this guy is currently doing is illegal and exploitive.

  33. Whatgoesaround says - Posted: June 1, 2011

    Nobody or nothing damaged that mans family but himself! Period end of story! Gossip? Who’s gossiping? The proof is in the pudding my dear! John is the proof! The reason I do not want my name out there is because he is a PSYCHO! I wish you guys knew the real John because your defending a tyrant!

  34. the conservation robot says - Posted: June 1, 2011

    The problem with morons is that most of they don’t know that they are morons. And get really angry when the realize it. The only way to feel better about it is to go read and deal with it. Like losing weight. It is up to you.
    You are gossiping.
    Also it is you’re, not your.
    As for psychedelics, they aren’t always bad. Some people find great value in them. Having them, selling them, etc does not make you a bad person.
    3 doses of lsd and an ounce of mushrooms is not retail quantities. Attempting to make a sarcastic comment about the dispensaries selling lsd gummy bears is poor execution.
    I don’t know this person at all. But I know that they are a victim of the War on Drugs.
    ‘John is a psycho/tyrant/bad person — i have proof — John is the proof’
    Exploitative? (not exploitive) Really? People willingly work for him. People willingly buy marijuana from him.

    I think some people posting here need to come out of the closet. It is OK to be a moron. It gets better. The hardest part about being a functioning/recovering moron, is dealing with all of the closeted morons.

  35. dogwoman says - Posted: June 1, 2011

    Again you are missing the point Bongo. John’s defenders all keep saying that all his drugs go to the dispensary. Clearly, that is not true, and I am challenging that allegation.
    And I still think you should stop calling people morons. It clashes with your self depiction of superiority.

  36. the conservation robot says - Posted: June 1, 2011

    Make your points more clear.
    You should come out of the closet and join us morons in recovery. Most of us don’t know that we are morons. That is why morons need to be called out.

  37. john's big sis says - Posted: June 1, 2011

    Johnny is my baby bro n i looove him more than words can say. Its so funny how all u people can judge him off of a partial story. how is any of this causing harm to you? everybody is so quick to look in the front yard, disregarding there own backyard!! im sure you are all perfect right?! well i should only hope that you come down this hard on patrons that leave the bars at 2am…driving. hey bro, keep your head up. i love you. xoxo

  38. john's big sis says - Posted: June 1, 2011

    p.s. i am a total moran… 8 yrs clean n sober!

  39. the conservation robot says - Posted: June 1, 2011

    I would just like to remind everyone that the same president who declared a war on drugs allowed the CIA to bring in tons of cocaine into Los Angeles, starting the crack cocaine epidemic and a large crime wave. The people in that administration went on to hold high positions in government for many more years.

    Really puts this case into perspective.

  40. El Dodo diplomat says - Posted: June 1, 2011

    “Can’t we all just get along?” -Rodney King

    Condescending Robot for President!!!!

  41. tahoeteacher says - Posted: June 2, 2011

    To challenge the fact that john does anything else w his pot than take to the collective is ridiculous, what evidence is there to suggest otherwise, none! John has been working directly w city of angels for years and that’s a known fact! There is nothing that says he was selling pot on the street, actually its published fact that he was on his way to the collective wHen he got pulled over. Get your facts straight! Stop accusing somebody you don’t know of something you obviously know nothing about! Dogwoman, clearly you spend too much time w canines and not with people as shown through your unfounded remarks. Way to make yourself look DUMB, Congrats!

  42. John's Mom says - Posted: June 2, 2011

    I love you John!! Hang in there and hold your head higher than those so quick to judge. Judging comes from those that are so good at hiding things in the closet. Sooner or later those closets need to be cleaned. I and your family love you for who you are and will always be there for you, NO MATTER WHAT!!!

  43. Clear Water says - Posted: June 2, 2011

    “Medical marijuana cultivating, dispensing, and consuming will exist with or without governmental approval,” “It’s time to tax and regulate this industry so legitimate business people and patients are not criminalized.”

    It’s time to focus the energy on real violent crimes and criminals that really pose a threat to each other,Society,this waste of the courts money,time,and peoples freedoms.
    I think the biggest lobbyist aganist legal pot are booze companies,pill factories.

  44. the conservation robot says - Posted: June 2, 2011

    Don’t forget the prison industrial complex that needs nonviolent marijuana offenders to fill their prisons and work for little money.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if banks were indirectly against legal drugs. They make money off of drugs too, laundering money.
    Check out the documentary ‘America’s Drug War’ and the reporting of Gary Webb and his book ‘Dark Alliance’.
    The cops who think they are making the world a better place with this type of work are delusional and actually part of the problem.

  45. Amanda Panda says - Posted: June 2, 2011

    Johnny, it is very unfortunate and sad that this has happened to you because I know you are a wonderful person and a great big brother. Everyone has things about them that others may not agree with but we need to put those things aside and see if the person is a kind and genuine person, which you are, and that is all that matters. I know you would never cause harm to anyone. I’m on your side, I love you ^_^

  46. Watchfuleye says - Posted: June 3, 2011

    yet another victim of the war on cannabis. Slednet should worry about all the heroin that is overtaking our streets and let growers like this be. As far as I am concerned it is busts like this that will be the demise of this town, the economy of tahoe is reliant on growers like john morrissey in these times of recession. Its not cannabis thats the issue it is the fallout related to the illegality of something that should be legal. For the record I do not consume cannabis by any means, I have however been a direct witness to its usefullness during times of ailment. My mother recently passed due to complications related to diabetes and cannabis from City of Angels that John probably grew was the only thing that gave her comfort. My family was greatful that cannabis dispensaries exist in tahoe once we recognized how much it helped our loved one in her time of suffering

  47. dogwoman says - Posted: June 3, 2011

    This issue is mainly being addressed as an emotional one. It needs to be looked at as a matter of law. The law IS what it IS. He broke it. Badly. Doesn’t matter if he’s a nice guy or not. That isn’t the point. If you don’t like the law, work to change it.

  48. John's Mom says - Posted: June 3, 2011

    to watchfuleye, sorry to hear about your mom. John also witnessed his uncle (my brother)suffer horribly and die at 30 years of age from the awful disease of diabetes. Thank God, he too found some comfort through the use of cannabis. It was a horrible time for him and his family seeing him suffer with so much pain. And to dogwoman, you are right, it is being addressed as an emotional one — becuase it’s VERY emotional watching loved ones suffer. The law does need to be changed. I know of many legal “prescription” drugs that are far more dangerous and far less as beneficial as medicinal marijuana.

  49. watchfuleye says - Posted: June 3, 2011

    The only law he broke which is one technicality the authorities love to capitalize on is the fact of transportation, sure arrest him for that, but those people in the know all recognize the fact that the grows had been deemed legal following inspections conducted by the sheriff dept 2 yrs ago. The DA had also given him the green light;all on public record. But I guess if you are driving pot from grow operation to collective and you get pulled over your 4th amendment rights doesn’t exist anymore, or that’s what I’ve gathered from this case. Seems to me that the people who did the arresting broke more laws that the ones being arrested. That should bring up emotion. If you don’t have an emotion regarding this case then why are you here?

  50. wishfulthinking says - Posted: June 3, 2011

    Did ‘watchfuleye’ catch a glimpse of the LSD injected gummy bears, 30 grams of magic mushrooms, honey oil extraction lab, and what seems to be a grossly excessive amount of plants and “packaged for sale” weed, more than allowed by medical marijuana laws?

    But…no laws were broken right!

  51. dogwoman says - Posted: June 3, 2011

    He also broke laws regarding LSD and magic mushrooms. I agree that the laws should be changed. But he shows very poor judgement in having LSD laced gummie bears anywhere near his kids.
    Why am I here if I have no emotion on this issue? That’s not a logical question. I’m here precisely BECAUSE I’m unemotional about it.

  52. the conservation robot says - Posted: June 3, 2011

    Did we find out where the psychedelics were found? The could have (should have been) very far from children. Most people I know with anything psychedelic have it pretty well labeled and hard to just stumble on.
    You know what type of people judge based on assumptions they know little about? That’s right. M words.

    As for an “extraction lab”, that is some sensationalist wording. It isn’t anything like meth. If they had it set up properly, and safely, it might have appeared to be a lab. It isn’t really fancy. Butane -> holding chamber -> collection pan. And if they are smart it is very well ventilated.

    And everything else, was just a plant. A plant that was made illegal largely because of corporations (fiber, pharma, alcohol), and racists (immigrants an black artists smoked it).
    We know that it doesn’t kill people. We know that is actually helps people. Now that we all have the internet, we should all know that. And the old reports that showed it were harmful have been completely discredited. Some are laughable.
    Yet it is still a schedule 1 substance.
    We are trying to change the laws. Conservative small town types, middle America, the south, are standing in our way. And there is probably a lot of corporate interest pulling strings too. Morons and people with extreme influence, a deadly combo to progress.

  53. wishfulthinking says - Posted: June 3, 2011

    ConVerSation robot…everything is a conspiracy, but none of the tens of thousands involved have talked…hhmmm.

    You keep using the conspiracy theory for every argument and have nothing concrete to support it.

  54. the conservation robot says - Posted: June 4, 2011

    You are talking about the conspiracy that corporations and government has knowingly spread propaganda that helped us arrive at our current drug laws?
    Sure. Give me a bit and I will post some sources.
    What exactly do you want to know? More about propaganda? Seriously flawed scientific studies? Studies with results that did not support their cause and were covered up? How industrial hemp threatened the textile industry and was banned by being associated with marijuana?
    Sure. I am tired now. I can back all of that up. You might need to read though.
    And the US Government importing large quantities of cocaine to LA before and during the crack epidemic, I can get into that as well.

    I would ask that you cite some of your own sources that rationalize marijuana being a Class I controlled substance, despite everything we know about it now.

  55. Watchfuleye says - Posted: June 4, 2011

    Go get em robot!

  56. watchfuleye says - Posted: June 4, 2011

    To say the LSD is anywhere near his kids is pretty ignorant, considering his kids don’t live with him. Nothing has even been said about his kids in the article so to even suggest that is a quite reckless statement. Don’t you think if kids had access to John’s personal stash of phsycodelics that would be the first thing the reports would’ve said. Some of you people need to get a life and stop being so concerned about other people’s business that you have no true idea about. Unless you have a valid statement all your doing is gossipping!

  57. the conservation robot says - Posted: June 4, 2011

    Global Commission on Drug Policy report:

    And you can read Gary Webb’s ‘Dark Alliance’ for yourself. I am not a fan of conspiracy theorists and doubted this one for years. More has come out since that book.

  58. wishfulthinking says - Posted: June 5, 2011

    Read the whole report and didn’t read a single thing about legalization; decriminalization was the focus. Never said anything about leaving users alone, but did mention rehab should be the first alternative. What happens when that doesn’t work? What happens when existing laws are broken, and people become greedy?

  59. the conservation robot says - Posted: June 5, 2011

    The existing laws are ineffective, and don’t prevent anything. Please show me an example of prohibition that actually works. You can still get drugs in prison, in fact the cocaine and heroin you can get in there is stronger than it is on the street. The most controlled population in the country is still not drug free.
    Marijuana is a schedule 1 drug. Give then characteristics of a schedule 1 drug, please show why marijuana fits in that category.
    To save you time, it doesn’t fit in that category.
    Interesting that you mention greed…. greed fueled gang activity, and essentially created organized crime in this country, during alcohol prohibition. Greed is a constant force. Legality can be changed.
    Our drug policy is a complete failure. Drugs are no less prevalent. You can not stop drugs. When you can spend 1 penny to produce 1 gram of something that sells for $100 there is nothing any law enforcement agency can do to stop it.

  60. wishfulthinking says - Posted: June 6, 2011

    You can also put in 2 cents and give your opinion, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it!!!!!

  61. Concerned says - Posted: April 20, 2012

    I actually know this individual, and nothing was within reach of the children…. everything was done in a proper way and was hidden and locked