Marijuana mogul Helios Dayspring in more hot water

August 18, 2021

Helios Dayspring explaining his farming methods

By KAREN VELIE

Neighbors complained for years. Helios Dayspring was treating workers at his Santa Barbara County marijuana grows poorly, grading without permits, polluting and threatening them. County officials did little about the complaints.

It wasn’t until after Dayspring pled guilty to federal charges of bribery of a public official and income tax evasion that county officials took action.

Santa Barbara County has now ordered Dayspring to pay a $40,000 settlement for altering a stream and polluting water. And, they are working to terminate his ability to farm on his six Santa Barbara County pot farms.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced the $40,000 settlement and an agreement to comply with the Fish and Game Code on Tuesday. The payment resolves allegations that Dayspring committed Fish and Game Code violations while cultivating cannabis in the county.

The violations include altering a stream by removing vegetation, grading a road and constructing hoop houses within the stream. Dayspring also polluted the stream with diesel fuel, pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, fertilizers, unconsolidated soil and plastic irrigation pipes, county officials said.

“Although cannabis cultivation is lawful under California law, with the appropriate government permissions, cultivators must comply with environmental laws like any other business,” Dudley said.

Helios Dayspring’s partner Michael Siegfried

County officials’ actions may not have much of an effect. Dayspring is transferring management of his grows to several of his partners, who have applied for county permits.

On Aug. 1, Dayspring filed an authorization of agent for neighboring parcels in Tepusquet Canyon, a rugged, hilly area east of Santa Maria. The document lists Michael Siegfried as the property owner and consultant Stacey Wooten as the authorized agent.

On the same day, Siegfried applied for a conditional use permit to grow cannabis on the two parcels.

Property records show Dayspring purchased one of the parcels, a 120 acre piece of land, from Seigfried for $100,000 on Sept. 14, 2016. Six weeks later, Siegfried and Dayspring jointly purchased a neighboring 40 acre parcel for $40,000.

Dayspring’s actions had been reported for more than four years by former employees and neighbors. They said that Dayspring was trucking in workers in the back of trucks, providing deplorable living conditions and transporting cannabis across U.S. Forest Service land. They also reported unpermitted grading, polluting and threats.

Helios Dayspring’s workers transporting immigrant women to a grow in Tepusquet Canyon in Northern Santa Barbara County.

Dayspring is the majority owner of three approved retail pot shops and multiple large marijuana grows in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, as well as many cannabis businesses in other counties in California.

Dayspring signed his plea agreement on June 24. On July 28, federal prosecutors charged Dayspring with one count of bribery and one count of filing a false tax return. Dayspring agreed to plead guilty to both felony offenses, pay $3.4 million in restitution to the IRS and cooperate in the government’s ongoing corruption investigation.

Dayspring cultivates marijuana under provisional licenses from the state. They allow him to stay operational while he works through the permitting process.

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Paso_citizen

Maybe he should be looking for another County ‘leader’ to bribe!


shishkabob141

Follow the greasy palms. Their names are known.


obispan

All these complaints that would hammer a developer with a permit to build and did not follow the regulations and approved plans, and there are effective regulators, when the powers that be wish to enforce regulations. This is corruption, straight to the top. I hope that an end to investigation of this will not be part of the $40,000 deal.


commonsenseguy

This “Jabba the Hut” needs to be taken down and locked up for a long time. His day is coming. I look forward to his demise.


Yavnexe

And in case that’s too heavy, and whomever looking at this worries they’ll end up like Sean Despain or Adam Hill if they investigate our local real life Walter White, answer me this one simple question: how come someone who has now proven to have used illegal bribery to stomp out competitors in order to obtain exclusive rights over the central coast cannabis scene – how when that person is caught with the enormous amount of dirt they’re caught with – how is it allowed that that person just hands the business over to their girlfriend and everything proceeds as normal? Mind-boggling corruption that just goes completely unchecked.


Yavnexe

I still am a bit confused, am I the only one who is interested in the fact that Helios’ Chief Operating Officer and Heidi Harmon’s campaign manager are the same person? This screams blatant corruption and yet, no one seems to find it interesting, nor does anyone question Heidi about it on her Instagram @heidiismighty even though she is required by law not to delete comments on the situation.


We all know from the image in this article that Heidi Harmon had fundraisers at Helios Dayspring’s house:


https://calcoastnews.com/2021/07/a-twisted-tale-of-corruption-in-slo-county/comment-page-1/#comments


Just look up “Nick Andre” on both of these articles. He is listed as Helios’ Chief Operating Officer, and also as Heidi Harmon’s campaign manager.


https://mustangnews.net/heidi-harmon-grassroots-victory/


“(Heidi) led the local Sanders campaign in San Luis Obispo and helped register more than 1,000 new voters. She was eventually elected to be a delegate for Sanders at the Democratic National Convention alongside her eventual campaign manager, Nick Andre.”


https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/business/article241747526.html


“Nick Andre, Natural Healing Center’s chief operating officer, shared an email showing that a demolition permit had been issued in February, but a contractor’s missed pick-up of the permit paperwork failed to complete the process.”


Am I missing something in regards to the fact that this, to anyone who is a critic of Heidi, should be massive, major ammo, and for some reason it’s going overlooked? I don’t know, perhaps I’m missing something, and if so, I’d love to know what it is. I’d sure love to see more people questioning her about this though.


Myself

Well maybe a recall effort should be launched against this corrupt mayor and others on the council that was at that little give away party of daysprings.


JThomas

Turn up the heat to boil and don’t take him out till he’s well done!


horse_soldier

Throw the rest of his buddies in the pot and make some scumbag stew.


paragon

It would seem the justice department could use RICO and other organized crime statutes to halt this felonious property shell game that Dayspring is engaging in here. He isn’t the first dirtybag to try to shift his assets around to avoid justice and continue his criminal enterprise.


Jorge Estrada

As my preference, I do not support the marijuana industry but if I were them, I would not pay one nickel because of the discriminatory and selective enforce these agencies routinely engage in.This is America and it’s ok to have differences but we can not ignore governmental abuse, even if we don’t agree with the choice of others.


sardonicsentiment

Absolutely no problem with the blatant environmental abuses huh? No wonder the state of things are as they are. Shameful.


cooperdog

I think what Jorge is trying to say is that if the resource agencies can get money from you, they’ll uphold the laws. If they can’t, they ignore you. A good example is the homeless in the creek beds and rivers. Look at the raw human waste, trash, needles, and other pollutants they discharge into these waterways and no action is taken by Fish & Game or Regional Water Board.


Jorge Estrada

Exactly! Sometimes it appears that they are partners when they are more about who they fine. Crime laundered money via fines..


sardonicsentiment

So those agencies should waste their time, effort, and resources on those they can’t prosecute? That’s the excuse? No. That doesn’t fly. At all. Rules are rules. Follow them or get punished. Simple.


The homeless issues are an entirely different beast; I think everyone can agree.


slo-to-load

Not making excuses here, but it’s probably a lot harder for Fish & Game to take action against an anonymous group of people with no permanent address and no bank account versus a corporation making a ton of money while polluting left and right.