Back to the slammer?

The judge in the 10-year-old case of Brian Epis, (pictured) the Chico man who is the first pot grower associated with a cannabis buyers’ collective to be prosecuted by the federal government, last Friday (Sept. 14) ordered him to serve out his 10-year sentence.

At the same time, the judge, Frank C. Damrell Jr., seemed to lean in the direction of allowing Epis to remain out on bail. A bail hearing is set for Oct. 22 at the federal courthouse in Sacramento.

Epis had served more than two years on his sentence when he was released pending U.S. Supreme Court resolution of another case, one involving Oroville med-pot user Diane Monson. When that case was decided in favor of the government, Damrell had to decide how much of the remaining time Epis would have to serve.

The case has been going on too long, Epis said by phone Tuesday (Sept. 18). Much of the evidence has been destroyed. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has already ruled in his favor once. He’s confident it will do so again.