Vegas male acquitted of drug crimes returns taken cash, still defending guns

Almost 3 years after authorities robbed his house, Steven Ficano obtained his cash, however he recently found out that he might have more trouble acquiring the 26 weapons authorities seized.

In late May, a jury acquitted Ficano of felony cannabis charges.

As he walked out of the courtroom, Ficano counted on his lawyer.

“Where do I go to get my guns and my cash?”

“You still have a civil case pending,” defense lawyer Dustin Marcello told him. “They don’t need to let that go.”

After Ficano’s arrest in Oct. 2012, the Clark County District Attorney’s workplace submitted a civil forfeiture suit to keep the nearly $52,000 in money found in a safe and 26 weapons discovered in his home.

Initially, the forfeiture fit seemed to wrap up quickly after the acquittal. Within days, prosecutors consented to dismiss the civil procedures and permit the 65-year-old to collect his money and his weapons. Part of that deal, nevertheless, suggested that Ficano needs to pass up any interest that might have been earned in the three years the state had his cash.

Efforts to reach Thomas Moreo, who runs the civil forfeiture system with the Clark County District Lawyer’s Workplace, were not successful.

Ficano’s legal representatives had a judge sign off on the offer, and Ficano got a look for $51,772 about a month after his trial ended. But when he and his lawyers called the City proof vault so he could gather the guns, police just weren’t so quick on the draw.

City spokesman Officer Larry Hadfield stated anybody retrieving weapons should complete a kind and go through a background check to make sure there are no other convictions or pending charges.

“We could not in great faith release a firearm to someone,” Hadfield said. “Exactly what if there was another pending case?”

That process could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to 5 months, though Marcello stated detectives in Ficano’s case might quicken the treatment.

The weapons are mostly antique lever-action rifles, collectible handgun sets and historic muskets inherited from his dad.

Ficano said he has receipts for any weapons he bought. He estimated the value of the collection in between $22,000 and $25,000.

“I’ll feel a lot much better once I get my weapons back,” he stated.

Police informed him that he could not get his guns back if they found that he had an unpaid traffic ticket somewhere.

Marcello called the process “insanity,” thinking about Ficano has never ever been convicted of a crime, and police are holding home they know belongs to Ficano.

“They’re stating the administration supersedes any sense of right,” Marcello said. “You’re guilty until proven innocent. It’s the precise opposite every thing we’ve ever been taught or find out about the legal system. It’s not a reasonable system. It’s not simply. And it’s wrong. There’s no due process. They just take, and the bureaucracy is larger than exactly what corrects or incorrect.”

When police appeared at Ficano’s door, he concealed nothing. He let the officers enjoy the World Series while they gunned through every space in his house.

He even pointed them to the safe where he kept a mix of antique currency, bills from the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, silver certificates and some money he saved throughout his 36-year furniture repair work profession. The antique bills are lost permanently, Ficano said.

He most likely might have defended the return of the weed– 68 plants and 24 pounds of finished cannabis that Ficano would utilize to make medical pot– but even at the time of his arrest some had actually been saved in the jars so long that it was moldy. The majority of the plants were either male or too immature to produce buds.

For practically 3 years Ficano dealt with two felony counts, one of which might have sent him to jail for up to One Decade. Up until 2012, he had no criminal record.

In Nevada, convicted felons are not permitted to have guns.

After a four-day trial, jurors took about an hour to acquit Ficano on charges of ownership of marijuana and ownership of cannabis with the intent to sell.

Ficano’s attorneys, Dustin Marcello and Mike Miceli, generated 3 of Ficano’s neighbors– a firemen, a former police sergeant and a school district employee– who all stated they did not believe he would offer the drug.

Considering that Ficano was detained, Nevada lawmakers have legalized pot dispensaries that would help avoid a situation like the one Ficano found himself in.

In 2012 medical usage of marijuana was permitted, but those licensed to utilize it were required to grow their own at home. So when investigators knocked on Ficano’s door he let them in. He had a medical cannabis license and a note from his physician that said he could possess more than the legal limit of 2.5 ounces of marijuana and not more than 12 plants.

Defense lawyers said that the doctor’s waiver did not plainly state how much pot Ficano might have, and he was never given instructions on ways to grow the plant and make an edible item.

Ficano has actually established arthritis and scoliosis as well as utilized pot to relieve remaining discomfort from an automobile accident.

After the crash, Ficano was recommended painkillers and ended up being addicted. Medical cannabis helped him kick that obsession, he said.

Now, with the felony charges behind him, Ficano prepares to cash the check and continue on with his life.

He still has some guns the police didn’t discover during the raid, and he always carries a small pistol on his hip for protection.

“I gave up battling years back,” he stated. “I don’t want to harm no one. But I ain’t gon na let no one injure me.”

Contact reporter David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com!.?.! or 702-380-1039. Find him on Twitter: @randompoker

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