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Who Killed Les Crane?

Leslie Charles Crane was murdered at 2:30 am on November 18th, 2005 by a group of four to six masked men. Les was a prominent medical cannabis activist, dispensary owner and caretaker to thousands of patients in California. Les came to California with $100 and his dog, where he survived the first few months from the generosity of the local Mendocino County food banks. 

This is a timeline showing all of the events leading up to the night of the murder, including newspaper articles, court dockets, and other information compiled from sources on the internet, as well as what took place directly after the murder. This is the first of several information drops that will take place in the next couple of weeks, which will include completely new information never seen before by the public. 

March 15th, 1999: (Muncie Indiana) A complaint is filed against Les for theft of a nail gun, compressor, and a Van by the owners of Ace Construction, Salvatore Dargo and Todd Rench. The items were recovered from two pawn shops and a fellow contractor who claimed Les sold the items to them.

June 21st, 1999: (Muncie Indiana) A Warrant is issued for Les’s arrest for the property theft charges.

August 4th, 1999: Les appears in court on the theft charges.

October 16th, 2000: Les takes a plea deal that is negotiated Lon Bryan, his attorney at the time. The deal is for a three year suspended sentence, with 90 days of home confinement, and a $1 fine.

January 25th, 2001: Les’s probation officer files a violation of probation order, and a hearing is set for August 27th of 2001.

August 14th, 2001: Lon Bryan files to be removed as Les’s attorney.

August 27th, 2001: Les failed to show up to the hearing, and a warrant is issued for his arrest.

Les heads to Missouri, where he meets a woman named Shiela. Les lives with Shiela for several months in Missouri. To find their trip to California, Shiela sells her daughters quad, and in the beginning of 2002 they moved to Laytonville, where they dated until 2004.

April 1st, 2004: Les opens Mendo Remedies in Laytonville California, and begins singing up what would become thousands of patient. Les also started to date a new woman at the time named Misty Champlin. Les lived on Lake Street, and Misty was his neighbor.

August 13th, 2004: Les has attorney Robert Boyd file a complaint to get $3740 back from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s. There is no record of Les being arrested, yet his money ,and who knows what else, had been seized by the Mendocino County Sheriff. No arrest of Les is shown prior to the date of this case being filed. So most likely, Les was amongst the many who were robbed by police and expected to just shut up and take it. (Mendocino County Court Website)

End of 2004: Les opens a youth center in Laytonville where he provided a free space for the kids in town to play pool, video game and have free snacks. Les also began to give 50 gallons of milk every Monday to the food banks of Mendocino County.

February 6th, 2005: Article titled “Food Bank Drive Ends With $78,000” the top donor is listed as “Les Crane, Mendo Remedies”, who donated $5,000. The second highest donors were Compassionate Caregivers and Parducci Winery, who both gave $1,000. 

Beginning of May, 2005: Les hears rumors about a robbery that was set to take place at his house and alerts police to come take a report regarding the plan he was told was set to happen. Police took a report and looked around the property, but left without incident. ( 2019 Ava article)

May 13th, 2005: Les win’s the asset forfeiture claim to have the Sheriff return $3740 plus whatever else was seized. (Mendocino County Court Website)

May 16th, 2005: Les is raided by Mendocino County Sheriff and COMET. They seize 30 South African gold Krugerands and 5000 Purple Urkle clones. Even though the police had seized his property now for a second time, he still had not been arrested or charged with any crime. (The Ava article and Mendocino County Court Documents)

May 17th, 2005: Attorney Bob Boyd files a civil lawsuit on behalf of Les seeking to have his property returned from the previous days raid. The suit sought the value of each clone as one pound per plant, as well as a return of the gold coins, which would be worth roughly $60,000 in todays market. (Mendocino County Court Records)

June 13th-17th, 2005: Les takes out a personal add in the Ukiah Daily Journal that reads “ATTENTION All Prop 215 patients, if you had your Garden raided, please call Les Crane at Mendo Spiritual Remedies.”.

June 16th, 2005: Article in the Ukiah Daily Journal by Quincy Cromer titled “Laytonville Cannabis Club Vows To Remain In Business”. The article is regarding a recent court ruling that gave the Feds the right to raid dispensaries, yet Les was now claiming he was a church and that he was going to sue the feds. Page 1 Page 2

Late July-Early September: Les Crane leased a property in Ukiah on State Street with the intention of opening a dispensary, but the city of Ukiah just passed an urgency ordinance not allowing any new dispensaries to open in the city. 

September 6th, 2005: Article from Ukiah Daily Journal by Seth Freeland titled “Cannabis Group Will Continue Dispensing” The city of Ukiah officials issue a letter threatening Crane and Hemp Plus Ministry not to open. 

September 26th, 2005: A motion to dismiss is filed in an Indiana Court by Delaware County DA, Eric M Hoffman, dismissing the 6 year old case that had for receiving stolen property, and a subsequent probation violation. This case had been unknowingly to those around Les, looming over him the entire time he was in California.

September 28th, 2005: In the face of massive opposition from city of Ukiah officials, Les Crane opened his second dispensary in Mendocino County called Hemp Plus Ministry. Les took out a full page add in the Ukiah Daily Journal the day Hemp Plus Ministry opened that printed a long article with his thought’s, a poem by his friend and manager of the Ukiah location, Patrick Duff, and a copy of the Declaration of Independence for people to sign. A video was also produced and published regarding the first day by Duff, which includes the only known video of Les Crane speaking. (4:20 of Video). 

October 12th, 2005: A case management statement is filed by the Mendocino District attorney regarding the forfeiture case regarding the 5,000 clones and 30 South African Krugerands that were taken in the raid on Les’s home by the Mendocino County Sheriff back in May. The case management conference is set for October 21st. (Mendocino County Court Records)

October 13th, 2005: Article from the Ukiah Daily Journal by Seth Freeland is published, titled “Cannabis Group Will Continue Dispensing” Duff, acting on behalf of a representative for Hemp Plus is quoted as saying “What I do in my (our) church is my business,,,Charlie Stump ( a Ukiah official) has no authority over a church.”. 

October 19th, 2005: Les is arranged on two felony charges from the raid on his home back in May. He is charged by DA Norm Vroman with cultivation and possessing marijuana for sale. Les is not present this day in court and it is stated that he is seeking an attorney.

October 21st, 2005: A case management conference is held between Les’s attorney, Bob Brady, and the Mendocino County District Attorney’s office. Mendocino County Court Records)

October 25th, 2005: Article in the Ukiah Daily Journal written by Quincy Cromer titled “Cannabis Cultivator Charged By DA”. Les claims in the article he was told by DA Norm Vroman that he could grow as long as it was in a 10 by 10 foot canopy. Vroman denied ever talking to Les, saying “I don’t believe I ever told anyone it was legal to grow marijuana unless they have a doctor’s recommendation. Page 2

October 26th-28th, 2005: Les pays for more than a dozen people from around the country to come and stay in Laytonville to attend the first ever United Cannabis Minister’s conference, which was held at area 101. Les donated six pounds of cannabis to make a massive batch of holy anointing oil, which was given out to the participants who took the oil home with them.

November 2nd, 2005: Les is formally arraigned at the Ukiah Courthouse where is represented by attorney Omar Figueroa. Court records show that the case will be held over until November 16th for a plea agreement and booking. (Mendocino County Court Records)

Morning of November 16th, 2005: Les spends $7,000 for 350 Turkeys to be donated to the food banks, and delivers them to the food banks in Mendocino County so everyone could have a turkey the next week on Thanksgiving. 

Afternoon of November 16th, 2005: Les let many of his patients know of his court date, where prior to walking into battle he’d be handing out free cannabis to anyone who came and showed him support. Les stood on the back of his pick up truck handing out piles of fine cannabis to anyone who showed up. (Eye Witness Account)

November 16th, 2005, 1:30 pm: Les appears with Attorney Omar Figueroa at the Ukiah Court House, but instead of taking a plea deal, Les changed his plea to not guilty and Figueroa filed a motion to dismiss, as well as a demurrer, which surprised DA Norm Vroman, who had expected Les to take a plea deal. (Mendocino County Court Records)

November 18th, 2005, 2:30 am: Later reports show that 4 to six men storm into Les’s house screaming “this is a raid” and murdered Les Crane in his bedroom. Crane’s girlfriend, Jennifer Drewery, and Crane’s friend/employee, Sean Dirlam, were both injured in the invasion and taken to the hospital.

November 19th, 2005: Article in the Ukiah Daily Journal, only this time it was written by Laura Clark, titled “Les Crane, Marijuana Distributor, Brutally Slain”. Jennifer Drewry gave this description “Les was sleeping in his bed, and I was sleeping in another bed. Four to six guys, they wearing all black with black masks. They busted down the door and all you could hear is ‘this is a raid, this is a raid, this is a raid’” Jennifer also noted that the voices of the men sounded young. The article goes into great detail on Page 2. The picture on the front page shows Mendocino Sheriff deputy Rusty Noe taking “armfuls” of mature cannabis plants off of a dead man’s property.

December 4th, 2005: Article in the Ukiah Daily journal written by editor KC Meadows titled “How we Do it”. In the article she reports “that we lost reporter Quincy Cromer to the Ukiah Police Department”. Cromer was the only Ukiah Daily Journal reporter to ever interview and write on Les Crane, and he is currently still a police officer with the Mendocino County Sheriff. 

December 14th, 2005: A hearing is held on Les’s criminal charges at the Ukiah Courthouse where the District Attorney refused to drop the charges against Les due to the pending asset forfeiture case. (Mendocino County Court Records)

December 17th, 2005: Sheriff Tony Craver abruptly resigns, citing a bad back as the cause for his early retirement. 

January 17th, 2006: A motion is filed on behalf of Les’s son, Jeremiah, for the return of Les’s property seized in May. (Mendocino County Court Records)

January 18th, 2006: Les’s son Jeremiah appears in court and the DA agrees to release Les’s property to the Les’s Estate, other that the 5,000 clones. The DA refuses to release the items to Jeremiah, and let’s him know he’d have to probate court once the heirs are determined.

March 1st, 2006: Les’s son wins the civil case regarding the Krugerands. (Mendocino County Court Records)

March 17th, 2006: Les’s old dispensary that was being run by him son has an attempted robbery take place where three men entered the building and attacked the female clerk with pepper spray and attempted to steal the cannabis. Several other employees came to her rescue, and chased the robbers out of the building, capturing one of the three, 19 year old Michael Duncan, after the get away vehicle crashed. Oddly, the article that is titled “Robbery Foiled At Laytonville Marijuana Club”, has a byline that reads “No connection thought to Les Crane Homicide”, even though two of the robbers were still on the loose. Page 2

September 21st, 2006: DA Norm Vroman dies of a heart attack. Vroman, who did 9 months in federal prison back in 1992 for tax evasion, was set to be raided by the FBI for the possession of unauthorized weapons.

Any tips can be placed on www.whokilledlescrane.com

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