Five people charged in connection with what authorities say was a sophisticated two-county marijuana-growing operation pleaded not guilty Friday in Pierce County Superior Court.
Prosecutors say the five conspired with James Canyon Lucas, owner of medical marijuana dispensary Tacoma Cross, to grow pot illegally at several houses in Pierce and King Counties.
Arraigned Friday on charges of unlawfully manufacturing a controlled substance were:
• Ryan Needham, 29. Judge Rosanne Buckner ordered him to post $25,000 bail by Monday or be booked into jail.
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• Kaelah Singleton, 26. Buckner released Singleton on her personal recognizance.
• Kari Levi, 42. Buckner released Levi on her personal recognizance.
• Loren Gordner, 30. Buckner ordered him to post $20,000 bail by Monday or be booked into jail.
• Mark Nowels, 41. Buckner ordered him to post $35,000 bail by Monday or be booked into jail. Nowels also is charged with money laundering in the case.
Lucas, 31, and his wife, Sarah, 29, also are charged in the case. Their arraignments were put off to Monday. Another co-defendant, Edward Dumas, 40, is to be arraigned Nov. 30.