Former San Jacinto councilman admits illegal cannabis sales

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San Jacinto City Councilman Joel Lopez, pictured here in an Aug. 5, mugshot, arrest has pled guilty to operating an illegal cannabis shop in the city. Valley News/Courtesy photo
BANNING (CNS) - Former San Jacinto City Councilman Joel Lopez pleaded guilty Dec. 1, to operating an illegal cannabis shop in the city and was immediately sentenced to one year in jail and five years probation. Lopez, 36, admitted charges of conspiracy and maintaining an unlawful marijuana facility – both felonies – as well as selling cannabis without a permit and failure to file a sales and use tax return with the state, which are misdemeanors. The plea was during a status hearing at the Banning Justice Center and was made directly to Riverside County Superior Court Judge Timothy Hollenhorst, without input from the District Attorney's Office. Not one of the charges for which Lopez was indicted was dismissed. In June, his co-defendant, 33-year-old Edward Padilla of San Jacinto, adm
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