Judge orders 63 year old minister to stay in jail until that trial, because he is a "threat to the public."
On Tuesday, THC Minister Rev. Roger Christie was denied bail for a 7th time by U.S. District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi.
Rev. Christie has been held at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center since he was arrested and charged with possession and distribution of marijuana to the members of his church. The non-violent “THC minister” has been jailed with out bail since he turned himself in on July 8, 2010.
Rev. Christie is the leader and founder of THC ministry. His church is located in Hilo, Hawaii, where there is a state approved medical marijuana program. According to the Ministry's website, “We use Cannabis religiously and you can, too.” The church worked within state laws to legally provide cannabis, for donation, to members of the church. Rev. Christie was very vocal about his support for the religious freedom to use medical cannabis and even ran for mayor on a couple of occasions. Needless to say, the feds were not happy.
On March 20, 2010, Federal agents raided his church in downtown Hilo, the main location for Rev. Christie's THC Ministry. The raid was assisted by local police and according to Rev. Christie authorities spent about seven hours searching his home and ministry, starting around 6 a.m. He said the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Postal Inspector and U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service were involved in the raid.
A few months after the raid, in June 2010, federal prosecutors charged Rev. Christie with conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 100 marijuana plants.
Thirteen others were charged along with Rev. Christie, however, all the other detainees were quickly released on bail or signature bond before trial. Hawaii Federal District Court Judge Alan Kay ruled that Christie must remain in federal custody until his trial, because Christie represents a “danger to the community.”
According to Hawaii News Daily, Tommy Otake, Christie’s attorney, said his client was “obviously dissapointed” by the ruling. Previously, Otake has called Christie “a peaceful man… (who) should be granted release to prepare for trial,” adding that “Reverend Christie looks forward to the day he will regain his religious freedom through due process.”
The date for Christie’s trial has been scheduled for January 23, 2013. If he isn't granted bail, a peaceful, 63 year old minister will sit in jail until that date, because he is a "threat to the public."