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Pot Growers Kept An LA Girl In A Metal Box

Syuzanna Petrosyan |
July 26, 2013 | 4:04 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Ryan Balletto and Patrick Pearmain / Lake County Sheriff's Department
Ryan Balletto and Patrick Pearmain / Lake County Sheriff's Department
Two pot growers in Northern California, Ryan Balletto, 30, and Patrick Pearmain, 24, are being accused of keeping a 15-year-old girl in a locked metal box for days, having sex with her, and forcing her to work on a marijuana farm.

The two men are also being charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, using a minor drug operation, and possession of a firearm to further drug trafficking.  

According to a criminal complaint, in late April, an LA police detective notified the sheriff’s department in Lake County that he had a tip that Balletto was keeping the missing girl in his property against her will. 

The authorities’ initial visit to Balleto’s property did not produce any helpful evidence. 

The criminal complaint notes that on April 30 the girl called the police and said that she was fine. Later, it was found that she was reading from a script prepared by her captors. The police traced the call and found the girl with Pearmain in a West Sacramento hotel. 

Inside the hotel, the authorities found marijuana, prescription drugs, condoms and a pregnancy test. Inside Balletto’s properties, a cache of weapons, drugs, sex toys and cash were found, bringing to light horrors of physical and sexual abuse. 

One of the chilling items found is a 4-foot-long by 2-foot-wide by 2-feet deep metal box with holes where the pair allegedly kept the girl for a total of three days. 

ALSO SEE: Two California pot farmers 'kidnapped girl, 15, in April and kept her as a sex slave in 4-foot metal box'

According to court documents, Balletto referred to the girl as a “trooper” because she didn’t scream. 

Balletto and Pearmain are being held without bail for a slew of federal charges including conspiracy to distribute marijuana, using a minor in a drug operation and possession of a firearm to further drug trafficking. 

The pair pleaded not guilty and are due back in San Francisco federal court Wednesday.


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TechnoPagan (not verified) on July 26, 2013 5:09 PM

These guys give marijuana growers a bad name.

Anonymous (not verified) on July 26, 2013 4:39 PM

Just hang them and save our tax dollars from prison life.

Anonymous (not verified) on July 26, 2013 4:52 PM

Agreed, hang those sh*t heads in public for old time's sake, and save some more tax dollars for our government, to blow on paper dixie cups and plates, at their next party.