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3/11/2013 6:00:00 AM
Kingman mayor's son avoids prison with plea
James Salem
James Salem
Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - James Trenton "Trent" Salem could face a year in the Mohave County jail when he is sentenced April 2 on a charge related to his arrest in a marijuana grow operation last August.

Salem, the son of Kingman Mayor John Salem, entered a guilty plea Feb. 26 to a charge of facilitation of production of marijuana. The crime can be treated as a misdemeanor or felony, according to Arizona statutes.

"It can go either way," said prosecutor Tom Godfrey. "It's a felony right now, but if he successfully completes his probation it will be lowered to a misdemeanor. If he violates his probation it will remain a felony."

In addition to potential jail time, Salem also faces probation and fines.

Prosecutors dropped a handful of other felony charges related to the crime in exchange for the guilty plea. Salem, said Godfrey, was honest with police following his arrest.

Salem and his roommate Brandon Militello were both 19 years old when officers with the Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team arrested them at a home in the 3600 block of Wells Street.

Militello and his father, William Militello, 46, who was arrested later, have not entered plea deals with prosecutors and face several felony charges related to the grow operation.

Godfrey said no plea deals with the pair are being negotiated.

"We don't know if their cases will go to trial or not," he said.

All three men carried valid medical marijuana cards and were legally allowed to grow the weed. However, the amount seized in the raid - between 60 and 70 plants - reportedly exceeded what they could cultivate under the state's medical marijuana statutes.

In all, the MAGNET raid yielded about 4.5 pounds of marijuana and a half-pound of hashish.

Qualified patients are allowed to grow up to a dozen plants and have 2.5 ounces of pot, according to guidelines by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Godfrey said the new law hasn't made his job any more difficult, but that police have to look at pot possession in a new light now that having some is no longer necessarily an illegal act.

"The law is not as black and white as it could be," he said, "but the weight limits and number of plants you're allowed to have help. If you have 500 plants and you're only allowed to have 12, it's pretty easy to determine.

"I liken it to prescription drugs. If you have hydrocodone, for example, you're breaking the law if you don't have a prescription. If you do, you're not."

Related Stories:
• Kingman mayor's son sentenced for marijuana grow
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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013
Article comment by: George Velez

WOW!!!! Really??? I'm an AZ residence for 28 years. Now in Casper WY. My son is serving a 6 yr sentence for a first time offense as an adult and pot was a main influence along with other drugs and beer where involved and caused his prison demise. 4th year as an inmate and is now bein accused of an assault of an officer. Hes not a hardcore criminal and made a bad mistake. What if I was to tell you he shot his best friend accidently which his best friend testified? and what if I was to tell you he paniced and made a drug induced decision. Already almost done serving his time in Kingman and I find this article? Really?? He was not invioved in an assault to the officer and the officer could not indentify him for sure. What if the system is failing him?? And then there is this kid? Pot which could of possibly been from his crop? Who knows how long this has been? 19? Howlong really?? My son is 24 now. And pot started it all..Hes a good kid..I will be persuing the lead by example picture..Not a good example for a Mayor. I'm a former marine Educated in the constitution as well as keeping a good reputation. Experience and Smarts is all I need..Wow!! Really??

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: Christina S.

I say this is proof of the dirty justice system. I agree the pot should be legal. However I do not agree that little rich kids should get a slap on the wrist just because of who their daddy and mommy is. The poor kids can't afford a high price lawyer so they get locked away while little rich boy goes free. Its BS and everyone knows it. I say give this kid the same punishment as the other 2 or let them all go. I know first hand if your poor and do the smallest thing they are going to stick it to you but if mommy and daddy are rich you can break all the laws you want. This is proof it is all about who you know ! Its not innocent till proven guilty for the poor but guilty till proven innocent ! For the rich it's innocent even if proven guilty. I guess the saying should be if mommy and daddy have money we will just look the other way because there is a poor kid right down the street we can pin this on.

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: Only from Mohave residents

It must be true that over 14 states have set up Easy pot shopping for anyone with a band aid.

Pot cards are given out at birth. The whole Medical pot thing is only a scam by the feds to continue funding the "war on drugs" that have created thousands DEA jobs. Boy nothing makes a president look better then Job, jobs and jobs. Without Marijuana policing many of these jobs all throughout the legal system would go away.

If you really want to know why the feds wont change Marijuana scheduling from a class one narcotic. All you have to do is follow the money and jobs illegal Marijuana creates at a federal level.

As soon as the Feds can figure a way to make the same budget numbers and maintain jobs from legal Marijuana. Then suddenly it will become a federal Idea....Marijuana is now "good" and is legal for Taxation.

The feds real problem. How to remove 80 years of propaganda, falsehoods, suppression of research, and flat out lies meant to demonise marijuana on every level.

Mom always told me Lies become harder to maintain and very expensive to cover over time. Billions have been spent brainwashing the public. Im glad its going to end soon.

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: m b

@joeblo. I guess I don't see anything wrong with meth, coke and heroin so let's legalize it too. I guess if you don't have your family ruined by addictions then you wouldn't understand.

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: Randi Grogan-Musante

It appears many have personal views not views about this young man. Marijuana needs to be legalized, taxed and sold. Enough with "it leads to other harder drugs". For those who have a medical card, I do agree some probably don't have a valid reason, but the mere notion that it's a scam or hoax is absurd. There are those who need it for medical use, its safer than prescribed medications and even though Ms. Athens seems to be a medical expert, she is not.

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: How Much Is Enough

Ok the kid has a "medical card " but that says he could have what 2.5 oz right ? So why does he and his buddy get away with 4.5 POUNDS and 1/2 POUND of hash ?????? I know people who were sent to prison for YEARS for 1/2 a pound, guess it's still "who you know " in Kingman.

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: I Like It

@ jist me

"the county attorney does not work for anybody in the city"

I have to agree with you and the proof is in the amount of people given probation or charges dropped altogether. I saw one guy with 6 felony charges, 5 of them were assaults on police officers. They dismissed all the assaults against the police officers. The guy should of been in prison for a long time as he had already violated his probation. He got 150 days in jail. Nice job in prosecuting! NOT!

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: joe blo

I'm sorry, but I don't find anything wrong with marijuana. LEGALIZE IT!!!!!

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: jist me

PU PU, the county attorney does not work for anybody in the city and is a county elected official

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

The larger question here is should we actually be locking anyone up for smoking Hemp. It has been used as a herbal medicine for thousands of years and was legal in this country until the 30's. The voters in this state and nationwide believe it should be legalized yet we continue to make young men like the mayors son criminals if they choose to use it. We have put 750,000 people in jail for its sales and use when clearly the majority of Americans think it should be legal. Many lives have been ruined by these ignorant laws. Its time to decriminalize this useful pain reliever. It will create jobs in Arizona jobs we need. Why should people who will use this drug legal or not have to purchase it from Mexican drug cartels instead of being able to grow some in there backyard. Ask Plain Jane that when she is in Kingman, oh I forgot no questions Please. Just grin and bare it.

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: pu pupuhi

Its who you know..and, his dad is the Mayor..and, the prosecutor works for the Mayor. so, there you are..Justice..

Now, who will be the presiding Judge..Case dismissed??? We'll know come April...

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Avg Joe

Well, it's clear to me that a handful of us have the ability to predict the future. I clearly remember reading the comments after his initial arrest. Many comments shared my view. And that was little Jimmy would end up getting a slap on the wrist.

Let's see.... 4 1/2 pounds of pot and a 1/2 pound of hash. Anywhere else and that amount would be considered "possesion with intent to sell." If there ever was a "good old boys club" here in town, just look at the mugshot above. There's your newest member.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: WHAT? ILLNESS have to do with it

I cant believe this my son had been medically diagnosed with many different illnesses but didnt get in trouble for drugs or have a medical card but was sent to prison now for 5 years for getting into trouble because of incorrectly taking his medications and not having the correct guidance and proper care so if I was the Mayor my son would have had the chance to get the proper care instead of paying for the crimes he commited under the influence and didnt even remember any of the crimes and they are felonies Really now its the same old saying MONEY TALKS right?

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Roy leggett

This does not supprise me. In Kingman it's not what you know but who you know. Every drug dealer in jail should take their case to the highest court. If one is given a slap on the wrist then all should be, but that will never happen in this town. If you are a politicians son or daughter you can get by with anything and walk the streets. I hope the people remember this when the next election comes up and maybe those in office, from city to county and state can be replaced. Just ask yourself, "If this were my child, would they get off easy like this?" Maybe this is a wakeup call for all of us. Vote next time. I will....

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Al DiCicco

Legalize it like Washington and Colorado as well as Industrial Hemp $$$$ for the States and people, oh ya we the people, the 99%. Stop profiting off non-violent "crimes". Stop making felons out of people no one will be left. No felons for these guys please and where is that dispensary? Stop dragging the feet. Go home, have a beer and a few puffs and enjoy the depression and police state in America. Peace and Love! LOL

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Capt. Nice

Evidently it does not take much to get a medical card from a doctor for weed. I had a local pot head tell me he told the doctor he was kicked by a horse and he now can get high every day....probably at tax payers expense.
Can't count the times I have been kicked by a horse, but sure don't need to be a pot head to get over it....what a joke!

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Tj Denton

Of course.

I dont think these guys's medical conditions or who their doctors are, are any of your business whatsoever quite honestly.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Concerned Parent

I think the Miner has made it very clear who is father is. Apparently, they chose not to mention he has a mother and a wealthy, prominent one at that. But, the fact is that it doesn't matter who his parents are, he is responsible for his actions.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

This whole marijuana thing is such a stupid sham. There are undoubtedly few really sick people that use marijuana for their illness. We have other drugs for what ails you.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Packing Up

Well, young Salem's ear-to-ear mugshot grin says it all. Makes one's heart swell to live in this great country where illegal aliens are set free en mass and the incarcerated are given wings. It truly is the Land of the Free.

If this goes on much longer, the Home of the Brave will be amidst the purple mountains majesty just east of the amber waves of dope.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Joseph kanarkiewicz

Well first of all he did have a medical marijuana card but than again so did the other two. Seems to me another scion of a politician was recently arrested for drugs in the golden valley area and he too was allowed a plea while his cohorts in crime got stiffed. Ahh to be part of the good old boys network and to get a pat on the back from the mohave county justice (haha) system.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Predictable .

I knew he would get a slap on the wrist. The mayor's son sure isn't going to get a felony.
The other 2 men will be the scapegoat and serve the time. 4.5 lbs. of pot and hash even divided by 3 of them, should be a felony. What is the street value of this?

@of course- They issue these medical marijuana cards to just about everyone, it seems. Seems like the youth seem to get them easier. What are their ailments at such a young age? A very few may need it. I would like to see the Dr. who prescribed it also. Are they getting kickbacks?

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: CYNTHIA HYBBARS

It figures the Mayor's son get a slap on the wrists that is wrong he needs to spend time in jail. NO Daddy pailed son out. What happens if his angel does it again,again oh that right he his the Mayor's sin he can do what he want's. Jail time for the rich kid.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Of Course!

Did anyone really expect ANYTHING more than a slap on the wrist for the Mayors son? I'd be interested in knowing WHO the Dr was who gave these two young guys medical marijuana prescriptions. How about publishing their names?

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Illness ignord

James has an undisclosed sickness that no one seems to be concerned with. If he was not ill or in pain he would not have a medical card and the need for the drug. We should have a saturday morning car wash to raise funds for him to see a specialist to help cure him of whatever condition he suffers from.

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