News briefs
Published - 12/20/13 - 01:44 PM | 2640 views | 0 0 comments | 656 656 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pacific Beach Planning Group seeking new members — The Pacific Beach Planning Group (PBPG) is seeking candidates for its annual elections. The PBPG is composed of 20 community volunteers (15 residential and five commercial seats). The group advises the city on new development projects, parking, traffic, future planning and other issues related to the Pacific Beach Community Plan. Candidates must be residents or business owner/operators in Pacific Beach and must have attended at least one PBPG meeting prior to the February 2014 meeting. PBPG meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the PB Library. For more information and candidate applications, visit or call Larry Emlaw at (858) 273-1788.

One sentenced in pot-mailing case — Christopher Gillen, 25, of Pacific Beach, pleaded guilty Dec. 11 to money laundering as part of a scheme to mail packages of marijuana that were mailed to customers after the drug was cultivated in a Midway area warehouse.

Gillen asked for immediate sentencing and was given credit for 11 days in jail with three year’s probation from San Diego Superior Court Judge Dwayne Moring. Deputy District Attorney Shanish Aloor said Gillen played a minor role and the money-laundering count was reduced to a misdemeanor.

Awaiting sentencing is his brother, Kyle Thomas Gillen, 26, of Pacific Beach, who is believed to be the ringleader. Kyle Gillen and three others have pleaded guilty to mailing packages of marijuana and money laundering and will be sentenced Jan. 14.

The marijuana was grown in a warehouse in the Midway area. It was raided May 29 by agents from the Southwest Border Anti-Money Laundering Unit. About 300 marijuana plants were discovered.

— Neal Putnam PB bank robber gets 16-year sentence — A Mission Bay man was sentenced Dec. 10 to 16 years in state prison for robbing two Pacific Beach banks in 2010 after DNA was linked to a hat he left behind.

Bryan Whaley Leasure, 51, was ordered to pay approximately $1,600 in restitution to the two banks by San Diego Superior Court Judge Albert Harutunian III. Leasure received credits of serving approximately 325 days in jail since his arrest on Jan. 16.

Deputy District Attorney Dennis Panish argued for a sentence of 25 years consecutively for each robbery. Leasure was convicted of five robbery convictions in Arizona in 2000, court records say.

When Leasure pleaded guilty to both robberies on Oct. 17, Harutunian said he would consider a sentence of 16 years or more. Harutunian denied probation.

Leasure held up the Bank of America at 900 Garnet Ave. on July 12, 2010 after waiting in line with customers. He also held up the Wells Fargo bank at 1300 Garnet Ave. on Aug. 13, 2010. He used demand notes in both hold-ups.

He was arrested by police as he was leaving his home in the 1400 block of Quivira Road. His DNA was on file because of his Arizona convictions.

— Neal Putnam
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