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Central Coast dispensary owner pleads guilty to federal tax evasion, bribery charges

Cannabis grower Helios Dayspring and Tepusquet Canyon residents, who opposed his area operation, look at Santa Barbara County 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino, who asked Dayspring a question during public comment in December 2017. County supervisors were considering how to respond to state cannabis licensing information requests during a hearing in Santa Maria.  Len Wood, Staff file

The owner of a Central Coast cannabis dispensary pleaded guilty on Friday to federal charges related to an investigation into tax evasion and bribery of a former San Luis Obispo County supervisor in exchange for votes favoring his business.

Helios “Bobby” Dayspring, 35, appeared via Zoom before Judge Andre Birotte Jr. in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to enter guilty pleas to one count of federal program bribery and one count of tax evasion for failing to pay millions of dollars in taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service, according to a plea agreement filed Oct. 14.

He was charged on July 28 and initially agreed to plead guilty to the charges in exchange for a deal with prosecutors.

Dayspring appeared with his attorneys, Sandra Brown-Bodner and Eric Chevin. He now faces 13 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine.

Two years after Helios Dayspring was caught breaking county zoning and state water quality laws — he was illegally expanding a cannabis operat…

Dayspring is listed as the owner of a cannabis cultivation and distribution operation with a controlling interest in a Natural Healing Center dispensary in Grover Beach, according to the Oct. 14 plea agreement.

The federal program bribery charge involved Adam Hill, the late 3rd District County Supervisor, and concerned an illegal transaction between an official with a jurisdiction that receives more than $10,000 in federal assistance.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Dave Minsky on Santa Maria Times

Published: October 25, 2021

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