Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 7:11 a.m.
John Wesley Walker, the alleged mastermind behind what a federal prosecutor claims was a massive and illegal medical marijuana operation in Southern California, won a victory of sorts this month.
Assistant United States Attorney Christine Bautista wanted $200,000 post-arrest bail to be revoked for Walker while keeping her reasoning secret from the public and, of course, Walker and his defense lawyer objected to the confinement proposal.
Federal judge James V. Selna heard the arguments in secret and then issued a ruling.
Selna is allowing Walker, 56, to remain free but increased the bail to $500,000.
And we can now reasonably speculate on Bautista's detention demand because on Dec. 7 Selna also ordered Walker (AKA "Pops") to refrain from contacting any of the other defendants.
In October, authorities announced a federal grand jury indictment against Walker and 13 other individuals in Orange and Los Angeles counties: Ryan Scott Hunt, Perry Brooks Forehand, Danielle Pamela Stebel, Nicholas Martin Butier, Sierra Marina Serhan, Alvin Wesley Walker, John Eugene Scandalios, Karen Lee Leto, Craig Lawrence Leto, Michael Alan Nixon, Alan David Nixon, Ryan Aparicio Mondragon and Nicholas Einar Lattu.
Walker reportedly controlled at least nine medical marijuana sales shops.