By: Jordan Damond and Miriam Raftery
May 25, 2017 (El Cajon) – Andre Zeehandelaar told El Cajon’s City Council at Wednesday’s meeting that he has evidence of dangerous conditions at an illegal marijuana dispensary obtained through drone footage.
Zeehandelaar stated he was a licensed pilot. The FAA website confirms his license here: https://amsrvs.registry.faa.gov/airmeninquiry/Main.aspx
After hearing noise from a generator Friday night at 1308 Bradway, Zeehandelaar says he flew a drone overhead that revealed an estimated 25 gallons of gasoline on the roof. “That makes me afraid,” he said, citing risk of an explosion and fire.
Mayor Bill Wells thanked him for his vigilance and said the City Attorney is looking into the matter. City Manager Doug Williford said since this is a legal matter, he can’t comment in public.
Councilman Gary Kendrick agreed the situation seems “extremely dangerous” especially since there is a report of a door locked from outside to prevent people from exiting the building.
Councilman Bob McClellan praised Zeehandelaar’s effort, adding, “Keep flying your dornes and let’s catch them all.”
Ever since the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana by voters in California, there has been controversy over whether cities should legalize and regulate dispensaries, or ban the right to sell these products.
El Cajon has chosen the latter path and, although individuals can grow six marijuana plants per household for personal use (unless the landlord denies them this privilege). many illegal dispensaries have cropped up.
El Cajon has tried tactics such as pulling out electricity meters and levying fines up to $2500 a day on illegal operators. But high profits in black market marijuana sales continue to entice new pot shop start-ups. Some have resulted in complaints from neighbors over issues including crime, noise, proximity to children, and safety hazards.
Thanks, you are correct about the law license.
To clarify, Mr. Zeehandelaar did not state that he's an attorney, but did say he's a licensed pilot. His business card lists a J.D. degree, which is a law degree. I have checked the state bar website and while it's true he does have a J.D. degree, he was disbarred in 1999. I've removed the reference to his law license above.
His pilot's license appeared to have expired last year based on this site: http://www.city-data.com/pilots/el-cajon-city-california.html as you noted, however the FAA website confirms he DOES have a valid private pilot's license here: https://amsrvs.registry.faa.gov/airmeninquiry/Main.aspx.
andre is not a licensed attorney!