Tracing back the marijuana from cross-country bust

FRESNO, Calif.

It's a story Action News first told you about Monday. Now, we've traced the pot back to the doctors who recommended it.

All of it can be traced back to recommendations from just two Fresno doctors, and one of those doctors isn't even allowed to prescribe narcotics right now.

More than 1,000 pounds of marijuana sat rotting in boxes on the floor of a Fresno County sheriff's office Tuesday.

Investigators say it was once destined for a long trip as part of a cross-country drug scheme.

"This is processed bud that's been trimmed and ready for sale," said sheriff's Lt. Rick Ko.

Instead of going on sale in another state, the pot made a short trip in a sheriff's truck to a disposal site.

The pot came from a field near Indianola and it was disguised as a legal medical marijuana grow, complete with recommendations posted near the plants.

In all, there were about 4,600 plants, but the recommendations come back to just two doctors -- Daniel Brubaker and Terrill Brown.

The doctors aren't breaking the law by recommending marijuana, but both have been investigated for violations of the law.

Dr. Brubaker is under investigation for several issues, including recommending marijuana without a good explanation, and for prescribing drugs in exchange for sex.

He hasn't been allowed to prescribe narcotics for more than two years. But that didn't stop him from making a recommendation for Charlie Vang on Aug. 5 of this year that showed up in the Indianola field.

Local doctors collect more than $100 for each recommendation, but they're supposed to follow strict guidelines

Medical marijuana advocates say the doctors don't have much control once patients leave their office.

"If a doctor does what is required of them under state law and under their regulatory system and they perform the necessary examinations that are required in this state for that," said attorney Brenda Linder, who represents a few medical marijuana collectives. "What an individual does at that point is beyond their control."

Linder says the suspects were not growing medical marijuana, they were using doctor's recommendations as a diversion for criminal activity.

Dr. Brown says he's really troubled to find out his recommendations are connected to a criminal investigation and he does the best he can to make sure only legitimate patients get recommendations.

Dr. Brubaker is out of his office until next month and his secretary told Action News he's unreachable.

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