SLO County marijuana mogul Dayspring sentenced to 22 months in prison

May 27, 2022

Helios Dayspring, his two attorneys, his sister, his mother and his girlfriend Valnette Garcia walking towards the courthouse

By KAREN VELIE and JOSH FRIEDMAN

San Luis Obispo County marijuana mogul Helios Dayspring was sentenced to 22 months in federal prison on Friday afternoon by U.S. District Court Judge André Birotte in Los Angeles.

The sentence was five months less than prosecutors requested. While Dayspring asked for no time behind bars, Judge Birotte sentenced Dayspring to 22 months on the count of bribery and 22 months for tax fraud to be served concurrently.

Dayspring, 35, was ordered to surrender himself to federal authorities on or before Aug. 26. His attorney requested Dayspring spend his incarceration at the Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc.

Wearing a blue three-piece suit, Dayspring showed no emotion while Judge Birotte read the sentence. Dayspring’s demeanor changed as he left the courtroom, and just outside, he stared upward with a look of anger, frustration and sadness on his face.

Dayspring’s attorney Sandra Brown Boodner argued that the defendant was a hard-working man who gave back to the community. Brown Boodner said that Dayspring had donated toys for children and turkeys to the poor. She argued that aside from tax fraud and bribery, Dayspring did nothing illegal.

Helios Dayspring before court

However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Rybarczyk questioned the claim that besides the two counts against him, Dayspring did nothing illegal.

“He cheated on his taxes for more than four years, which he spent on his business,” Rybarczyk. “Defendant was a cold, calculating businessman who sought to bribe and cheat his way to a cannabis empire.”

Judge Birotte reminded Brown Boodner about Dayspring’s attitude that, “It’s a Monopoly game. I’m going to take out the competition.”

“What he did strikes at the very core of our government,” Judge Birotte responded. “No matter what you say, it is all white noise to people who say San Luis Obispo County is corrupt.”

Brown Boodner argued that Dayspring, an unsophisticated man, followed Hill’s direction in hiring a consultant and an attorney who led him down the illegal path.

Even though Dayspring admitted to attempting to bribe former Grover Beach Mayor John Shoals, Dayspring did not provide enough evidence to incriminate Shoals, Rybarczyk said. Much of the alleged information Dayspring provided prosecutors did not help the federal government with their investigation, he added.

“He had his hands in the political cookie jar,” Rybarczyk said. “He wanted to be the cannabis king,”

If the case were to go to trial, Brown Boodner argued it would be hard to prove that Dayspring bribed former SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill because Hill is dead.

After apologizing for breaking the law, Dayspring voiced concerns about what will happen to the remains of his empire if he is sent to prison.

“If I am sent to jail, what is left will crumble,” Dayspring said.

At the end of the hearing, Judge Birotte sentenced Dayspring to 22 months in prison and two years probation.

“I’m not knocking his hustle,” Judge Birotte said. “He heard the door knock and did a sprint to the government door.”


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don

He still owns the controlling share of Megan’s Organic Market, i.e. MOM INC. The City of SLO is apparently is looking the other way on that one. MOM SLO LLC is owned by MOM USA LLC, and MOM USA LLC is owned by MOM INC a Delaware Corp which only law enforcement can get ownership information on.


Ricky2

“aside from tax fraud and bribery, Dayspring did nothing illegal”


Gotta love those legal minds to come up with stuff like that.


Moral of the story: 22 months at federal camp = crime does pay


Guy’s still a millionaire, and it will all be waiting for him in less than 2 years.


Jorge Estrada

He is now a conqueror on a two year program to earned a Masters in what not to do. When he comes back, he will likely own the building that house his lawyers and donate all the weed to fill the need, his need for success without jail time. He should be grateful that media has provided error correction thus a short absence before a robust, personally rewarding come back. This is what the voters supported.


retiredpoliceofficer

The biggest fish in this tale is Judge Ginger Garrett, she retired suddenly (two days after the announcement of Dayspring’s arrest). She had 4 years remaining in her term.


Judges typically give longer notices so the courts can make arrangements to have other judges take their place. Leaving with 4 years remaining in a term is unprecedented in the absence of incapacity,


Garrett made a controversial ruling that moved Dayspring’s Morro Bay cannabis dispensary application to the top of the list of applicants, Had she ruled otherwise there would have been no dispensary license for Dayspring.


Did Garrett get a deal from the FBI to avoid prosecution for accepting a bribe in exchange for her resignation? No local media bothered to investigate the circumstances, A crooked judge is far more risk to the community than Dayspring.


I suspect all local media including CCN have ignored investigating because they don’t want to anger other judges who may rule on cases concerning them in the future.


IronHub

You sound like you might know something substantial about the Garrett resignation. If not, you’re just blowing smoke. Everyone has the same suspicions about her, so if you know anything important, why not tip Karen? Her number’s on this site. Otherwise, why not keep your silly criticisms and assumptions to yourself? (Just sayin…)


TKG

Sounds like a George Gascon brand of justice, or should I say “injustice”…