PAHRUMP — A local celebrity avoided jail last week even after sheriff’s deputies discovered nearly 400 marijuana plants growing on her property.
Former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, 47, avoided a night in jail but will face charges including possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell after 392 marijuana plants were found on her property.
A Nye County Sheriff’s Office press release about the Aug. 7 bust says Fleiss cooperated with police and owns approximately $200,000 worth of exotic birds that would have posed a significant burden on county animal control officers.
Had she been locked up, she could have been held at the local jail in lieu of $35,637 bail, the release says.
Police discovered the marijuana after a sheriff’s deputy went to Fleiss’s address looking for a wanted person.
Fleiss told police she was growing marijuana to supply a cooperative in Las Vegas. But she could not produce documentation to support the claim, according to a police report.
A report will be forwarded to the Nye County District Attorney’s Office for charges to be filed later.
District Attorney Brian Kunzi said Tuesday he had yet to receive any reports in the case.
He said the sheriff’s office has full discretion whether or not to arrest someone, except in certain situations like those involving domestic battery or drunk driving, which require a person be arrested.
Kunzi added the DA’s office was not involved in the decision not to arrest Fleiss, but said it appeared to him the sheriff’s office used reasonable discretion in choosing to “long form” the charges.
Fleiss is scheduled to appear today in Pahrump Justice Court on an unrelated traffic case.
Contact Pahrump Valley Times reporter Kelsey Givens at firstname.lastname@example.org.