LAKE COUNTY (CBS SF) — Two Lake County men are facing jail time for a series of disturbing crimes on a pot farm, including the sexual abuse of a teenage girl who was kept in a metal box.
A federal judge handed Patrick Pearmain a sentence of 12-and-a-half years. Co-defendant Ryan Balletto is awaiting his sentence.
Back in 2013, police searched several of the defendants’ properties.
The feds were already investigating the grow operation when the LAPD called Lake County authorities, alerting them that a girl who had been reported missing in Los Angeles might have been kidnapped and held in Clearlake against her will.
Besides guns, they turned up a disturbing case of a teenage girl who was kept inside a metal box.
Prosecutors say both men kept the girl — who was 15 years old at the time — trapped in the box and sexually assaulted her.
The box where the girl was held captive was right next to a trailer on the grow operation property. The girl told police she spent at least 3 days locked inside the four foot by two foot case.
Near the box, officers said they also found a noose and a rack to hold someone against their will, as well as other sex devices related to bondage. The girl told police that the men called her a “trooper” because she didn’t scream while being locked inside the box.
Both pled guilty to marijuana trafficking and use of a minor in a drug crime.