A former Concord police officer was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison for his role in an indoor marijuana grow operation, according to a United States Department of Justice press release.
Damon Todd Rydell, 36, of Redding, had requested a no-jail term, "claiming ignorance of federal law and a belief that state medical marijuana law allowed him to grow more than 200 marijuana plants," according to the release.
U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrel found Rydell violated federal law and "conveniently used California law as an excuse to engage in maintaining" a Chico location to grow marijuana in 2010.
Rydell was ordered to pay a $7,500 fine and to serve a term of three years of supervised release.
The former Concord police officer is the second defendant to be sentenced in this case, according to the release.
Ramon Felipe Maldonado, 27 of Chico, was sentenced to 24 months in prison; Johnny E. "Jay" Grivette, 36, pleaded guilty and will be sentenced Dec. 2.
This case was an "extensive investigation" by the F.B.I., the Butte County Sheriff's Office Special Enforcement Unit and the Butte County District Attorney's Office, according to the release.
Details of Rydell's history with Concord PD were not immediately available.