After finding over a half million dollars’ worth of cannabis in a Schurz motel, Mineral County Sheriff Stewart Handte and District Attorney Sean Rowe have found themselves in the middle of a lawsuit.
The owner of the Road Runner Motel, Raghvendra “Raj” Singh, 52, has filed the suit on Sept. 18 in Sacramento federal court, under the name of “Ram Singh.” The name “Ram Singh” had also appeared on the Mineral County Board of County Commissioners agenda for legalizing a medical marijuana dispensary in the county. Ram was a no show for the board meeting.
Singh states that the complaint follows a bust that took place on Sept. 2 where a warrant for the arrest of Singh found the motel owner sitting in a Sacramento jail until he bailed out.
The lawsuit states that the Singh became the manager of the Road Runner Motel upon the purchase in October 2013, but since he was unable to control the property from his home over 200 miles away, he placed a member of the Walker River Paiute Tribe in charge.
The Road Runner Motel is within the boundaries of the Walker River Paiute Tribe lands, but because the property has been patented, the land is subject to law enforcement and county property taxes. Singh has not paid taxes on the property since purchasing it.
Mineral County Sheriff’s Office and Walker River Tribal Police are cross deputized in an effort to better help one another in situations that may arise in the remoteness of Mineral County. The warrant was applied for and granted to Walker River Tribal Police and handed off to Mineral County Sheriff’s Office to execute. Nevada Highway Patrol assisted.
The lawsuit cites, “Marijuana was grown for the benefits (sic) of Indians.” It goes on to state, “State officials have no power in Indian Country.”
Although Singh remains free on the $50,000 bail, the battle over the Schurz marijuana is far from over. The extradition hearing will be held next month in Sacramento with possible further charges being added to the growing lists of Singh’s illegal activities in Nevada.
Handte’s remarks regarding the lawsuit were, “The District Attorney is in the process of contacting POOL/PACT for assistance in this matter.”