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Trial in Fowlie Pot Smuggling Case Transferred to L.A.

The trial of Daniel James Fowlie, the alleged patriarch of a vast marijuana smuggling operation partly based in Orange County, has been transferred to the U.S. Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles.

U.S. District Judge Alicemarie Stotler on Friday moved the case from the small federal court in Santa Ana to the larger facility, which can easily accommodate the large pool of people expected to be used for jury selection.

Fowlie, 58, who was extradited from Baja California to Orange County in July, faces a March 5 trial date on 26 felony counts related to drug smuggling, income tax evasion and illegal transfers of U.S. currency to another country.

Investigators suspect that Fowlie operated one of the largest marijuana smuggling operations in the nation from 1982 to 1986, using rented warehouses in Southern California and Rancho del Rio, a 213-acre property on the Orange County-Riverside County line.

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