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Forest Service Is Given Seized Land

The U.S attorney’s office in San Diego announced Wednesday that it has given 7.6 acres near the Cleveland National Forest that it seized in a drug bust almost six years ago to the U.S. Forest Service for recreational use.

The exchange marked the first time forfeited land has been transferred to any government agency in San Diego County, said U.S. Atty. William Braniff.

The transfer was ordered after forest service officials participated with the San Diego County Sheriff Department’s narcotics task force in the 1986 investigation of Sharon Van Hook, a suspected marijuana trafficker and former owner of the property known as Mt. Laguna Stables, Braniff said.

The 7.6 acres and other properties were seized by the government from Van Hook in July, 1986, after a federal search of the property and a residence in Valley Center turned up 2 kilograms of marijuana, Braniff said.

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Authorities determined Van Hook had bought the land with money from her drug trade. Under federal law, the land could be seized by the government, Braniff said.

Van Hook pleaded guilty to three felony tax evasion counts in April, 1990 and was later sentenced to two years in custody.


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