SACRAMENTO — Keith Baia, 42, of Kissimmee, Fla., was sentenced Friday, Aug. 10, by U.S. District Court Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. to five years in prison for growing marijuana in an Anderson warehouse, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, on March 14, 2011, a citizen tip led law enforcement officers to a warehouse on Riverside Drive in Anderson.
When officers searched the warehouse, they found 974 marijuana plants.
Co-defendant Jody Weber Stewart, 42, of Hollywood, Fla., was inside at the time of the search. Baia was the subscriber for the utilities at the warehouse, and a vehicle registered to him had been seen at the warehouse by law enforcement surveillance on at least one occasion.
There was paperwork with Baia’s name inside the warehouse and his fingerprints were developed on a calendar used to record growing cycle details. From that calendar and PG&E records, it was determined that marijuana had been grown at the warehouse since July of 2010 through several growing cycles.
Baia was arrested several months later in New Hampshire during a routine traffic stop.
Stewart pleaded guilty to the marijuana cultivation charge and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 28.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Richard Bender is prosecuting the case.