Journalist Warren Whipple’s Summary of
The United States of America vs. Peter McWilliams
favorite trick of the authorities, such as they are, when pulling
stunt such as the recent one with Peter and his friends, is to make
charges appear voluminous and unconfrontable, and therefore
to the average person. A nine-count, 40-page Federal
sounds pretty impressive in the paper, and, well,
with that many charges must certainly be guilty of something,
following is a summary of the Grand Jury Indictment that
the charges under which Peter is now being held in custody. I
that this will be of some help in reducing the unconfrontability
of the indictment itself, and assist in allowing people to focus
the real issues here.
is NOT an official document in any way, and is not intended to
reading the indictment itself. Rather, it may help one in
it, or serve as a general overview and aid in the understanding
the situation for the person who simply is never going to read it.
who wants to quote the indictment, or make reference to it in any
media, should refer to the source, and not this document.
Indictment consists of two parts, an Introduction, and then a
of the nine counts. The 2-page Introduction simply names the
who are, Peter McWilliams, Todd McCormick, and Andrew Scott Hass (
major players), David Richards, Kirill Dyjine, (aka Hermes Zygott, a
Christopher Carrington, and Gregg Collier ( the supporting
and Aleksandra Evanguelidi, Renee Boje, and two anonymous,
co-conspirators ( the extras).
second part details the nine counts. Count 1 is the conspiracy
which takes up most ( 30 pages) of the space. Counts 2 - 9 are
one page documents, alleging the existence of 4 crops, or
with two counts allotted for each, one for manufacture of that
crop, and one for possession, each with "intent to
1, the real charge here, consists of three sections. Section
( 1 page) consists of the prosecutor's hypothetical outline of this
conspiracy to knowingly and intentionally manufacture, possess,
distribute marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code,
841 (a) (1). Section II ( 1 1/2 pages) outlines the means by
this dastardly deed was to be accomplished. Essentially, Peter
mastermind), would pay all of these other people to grow pot for
in various suburban locations around LA County, and then he would
it. Section III details 182 "Overt Acts" which allegedly support
government's case, and are, in fact, the heart of the indictment
we begin (even this summary is not really easy reading, it's
better), it is VERY IMPORTANT to note that the most interesting
about this indictment is what is NOT there. Nowhere in this
investigation were they able to produce any evidence that
sold anything to anybody. Nowhere in this indictment is there any
of anyone TRYING to sell anything to anybody except the Los
Cannabis Buyers Club, a legitimate, non-profit operation that
medical marijuana to patients in need of it. With this
of the LACBC, there is NO EVIDENCE presented in this
to support the governments charges in Counts 2 - 9 of
to Distribute". Frankly, I'm kind of disappointed. You'd think
would at least try.....
of the 182 alleged "Overt Acts" which support the
charge in Count I of the Indictment:
incidents in which Peter paid somebody. These break down as
payments to Todd for a total of $116,400.
payments to Andrew for a total of $76,401
payments to David for a total of$26,100
payments to Chris for a total of $6,004
incidents in which things were purchased, or modifications were
to a building, in order to facilitate the growing of plants.
On or about April 17, 1997, in Los Angeles, California,
TODD McCORMICK purchased soil, pots, ladybugs, and other items
the cultivation of marijuana, to be shipped to the Stone Canyon
with the McWILLIAMS/Prelude Press credit card.
incidents of normal, innocuous business transactions involving
things as renting houses by the co-defendants, leasing a Lexus
On or about February 18, 1997, in Pacific Palisades,
defendant TODD McCORMICK executed a two-year lease for
per month for the Stone Canyon residence.
of the "Overt Acts" are simple reiterations of the Counts, 2-9. 5
incidents ( 98, 108, 174, 180, and 182), are similar allegations
simply state that the defendants were in possession of "equipment
supplies for the cultivation of marijuana...." It is notable that
deserved mention in this section, but did not result in the
of further Counts in the indictment. Hmmm, must be legal. (?)
125 so far. Are you getting the idea?
Incidents infer a direct observation of activity by a third
such as (for example) a surveillance team. These, for the most
simply document normal plant-growing activities. My favorite is:
On or about July 29, 1997, defendants ALEKSANDRA
and RENEE BOJE watered numerous marijuana plants at the
Canyon residence. ( those bad, bad girls!)
incidents of contact with the LA Cannabis Buyers Club, involving
solicitation to sell them pure, cloned marijuana, and the donation to
of a good deal of growing equipment for their own use. The first
was to provide it to them at $4,800 per pound. A later offer was
$4,000 per pound. There is no mention of the club's reaction,
in the story in the LA Weekly, they deny ever buying any, and
indictment does not indicate that any transaction occurred.
incidents involved two or more of the co-conspirators having a
Just that; they met. Well, they're conspiring, right? They have
incidents of basic administrative procedures are reported. These
things like an accounting of plants grown, projections of output, a
to hire Gregg, stuff like that.
168, if anyone's still counting.
are 4 incidents that aren't really "Overt Acts", but general
that sort of duplicate others and just seem to be
now, the TOP TEN best "Overt Acts" from the Indictment of Peter
(89) Between in or about March 1997 and on or about July 29,
defendants Kirill Dyjine and Aleksandra Evanguelidi worked as
at the Stone Canyon residence in exchange for money and
(90) Before on or about July 29, 1997, unindicted
two wrote defendant Todd McCormick a letter detailing her
needs and role as defendant McCormick's partner and employee
the cultivation of marijuana.
(34) Between in or about May, 1997, and and in or about
1997, defendant Peter McWilliams used his 8165 Mannix residence for the
harvesting, and distribution of marijuana.
(110) In or about August, 1997, defendant Peter McWilliams
to distribute numerous marijuana plants, grow lights, and
equipment to employees of the Los Angeles Cannabis Buyers Club in
to prevent the discovery of the marijuana grow at the 8165 Mannix
(16) Between in or about March 1997, and in or about April,
defendant Todd McCormick distributed marijuana to other
at the Stone Canyon residence ( Todd's house).
(168) Between in or about November, 1997, and and in or about
1997, at the Little Rock residence (Andrew's house), and the
residence (Gregg's house), defendant Kyrill Dyjine, aka Hermes
planted approximately 1,600 marijuana plant clones.
(160) In or about November, 1997, defendants Andrew Scott
Kirill Dyjine, and Gregg Collier covered holes inside the detached
of the Hamlin residence with black plastic.
(148) On or about October 28, 1997, defendants Andrew Scott
and Christopher Carrington entered the garage of the McKinley
(unindicted co-conspirator one's house).
(55) In or about June 1997, in Los Angeles, California,
Peter McWilliams told an employee of the Los Angeles Buyer's Club that
was funding defendant Todd McCormick's marijuana grow at the Stone
residence, that he wanted to become the "Bill Gates of medical
that "they" intended to become the largest supplier of
marijuana in the country and distribute high quality marijuana
through the mail, and that he wanted to enter into a grow
with the club for the sale of marijuana....
finally, the NUMBER 1 Overt Act cited by Federal Officials in
Grand Jury Indictment:
(49) On or about May 15, 1997, in Los Angeles County
defendant Peter McWilliams signed a letter that was
to the realtor leasing the Little Rock residence, falsely
that defendant Andrew Scott Hass had been employed by Prelude Press for five
me now. I have to run go pay my taxes.
COMPONENTS OF THE CASE THAT I HAVE GLEANED TO DATE:
the obvious and imperitive factor of Peter's treatment in
after the arrest)
Peter claims that he did nothing that was in violation of
215, the 1996 California state initiative that legalized the
of medical marijuana in cases where it was warranted, with a
from a doctor. While I am not really in a position to
this from Atlanta, there does not seem to be anything in this
alleging that he did. Rather, the Feds seem to be saying that
doesn't matter, that California can't have Proposition 215, since it
violates Title 21, Section 841 (a) (1) of the United States Code.
is a State's Rights issue. Wasn't there already a war over this?
that's right, the Feds won that one, too.
As mentioned earlier, there is no evidence that Peter or
else involved had any intention of distributing marijuana to
other than legal, prescribed medical recipients and, in fact, never did.
Peter alleges that his payments to Todd were not, in fact,
production of marijuana, but for a book about it, which was to have been
by Prelude Press. This has some credibility, as Peter does own
publishing company, and Todd did, in fact, write the book. It seems to
that the onus of proof should be upon the DEA to prove that Todd just
the book and gave it to Peter for free.
The whole thing just sucks.
this helps a little.