MedMar owner in Fresno court for attempted kidnap case

FRESNO, Calif.

Action News reporter Corin Hoggard saw Morse and his son Brandon trying to handcuff deputy city attorney Michael Flores as he walked into court, trying to shut them down.

The Morses said they were making a citizen's arrest, but prosecutors say there was a hidden motive behind their actions.

Rick Morse and Michael Flores have fought several times in court, with Flores winning nearly every round. The deputy city attorney eventually got an order allowing Fresno Police to shut down Morse's medical marijuana dispensary in the Tower District.

Morse was arrested more than once during the fight for violating court orders and re-opening his business. But on May 17, their battle became physical when Morse tried to turn the tables. He and his son Brandon tried to grab Flores and make a citizen's arrest.

When Morse walked out of the civil courthouse that day, he was carrying a citation for battery. But investigators say the Morses intended to commit a more serious crime. They say text messages reveal a scheme to detain Flores, and other city officials, and take them to the justice department in Sacramento. The investigation led to attempted kidnapping charges against Rick and Brandon Morse.

"You know, if you screw with the government, this is what you get," said Leroy Falk, who was assigned to defend Rick Morse and pleaded not guilty on his behalf Monday.

Falk says the case is blown out of proportion because of Morse's history with local authorities. "It seems like it's a political case," he said. "If it was somebody else, he wouldn't be charged with this, let alone being held."

Flores didn't want to talk today, but I spoke to his boss, the city attorney. He says Morse's escalating behavior was dangerous, and both Morses should have to pay for their illegal actions.

Brandon Morse is also charged, but he is not in custody.

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