Prosecutor who shut down illegal marijuana clinics honored

An Orange County deputy district attorney whose work led to the shutdown of illegal marijuana storefronts in Laguna Beach has been named Deputy District Attorney of the Year by the Police Department.

The honor was presented Wednesday to Jeff Schunk at the Laguna Beach Police Department's annual employee recognition dinner.

The yearly event recognizes Laguna Beach police officers and other law enforcement personnel for their dedication to promoting public safety.

According to the Orange County district attorney's office, Schunk successfully prosecuted defendant Michael Newman for growing marijuana in a Laguna Beach neighborhood while pretending to operate as a medical marijuana collective.

Laguna police seized 350 marijuana plants, three pounds of marijuana and $25,000 in cash, the district attorney's office said.

Newman was convicted, sentenced to 90 days in jail and placed on three years' probation, the D.A. said.

Schunk has coordinated the disposition and prosecution of 29 asset forfeiture cases since January 2009, resulting in the confiscation of at least $130,000 from drug dealers and the removal of several pounds of illicit drugs from the streets of Laguna Beach, the district attorney's office said.

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