Not guilty plea from man accused of using teen to sell pot at high school

A San Diego man accused of using a juvenile to sell marijuana to students at Cathedral Catholic High School, as well as supplying pot to minors, pleaded not guilty Monday. Jan. 8. to 39 felony charges.

William John Sipperley III, 50, faces several counts of employing a minor to sell or carry marijuana, furnishing marijuana to a minor over age 14 and maintaining a place where marijuana could be used or sold.

He also faces several counts of felony child abuse, according to the complaint filed in San Diego Superior Court.

Sipperley’s bail was set at $250,000, and a judge signed an order requiring him to say away from five minors named in the document.

If convicted, Sipperley could be sent to prison for up to 61 years and four months, said Deputy District Attorney Christina Eastman.

Sipperley is charged in the same case as fiancée Kimberly Dawn Quach, a Cathedral Catholic parent arrested in October on suspicion of using a teenager to sell drugs at the Carmel Valley school.

Quach, 48, has pleaded not guilty to a long list of similar charges and is being held in county jail in lieu of $201,000 bail. She was arrested in late September.

Sipperley was booked into county jail on Jan. 2, according to jail records.

San Diego police detectives had been looking for him since October. It was not immediately clear where authorities found him.

The prosecutor declined to speak about the investigation.

A search warrant affidavit that San Diego police investigators filed Oct. 3 alleged that Quach showed the teen how to make the sales, and that customers paid in cash or through online payments.

A search of the home the couple shared with two minor children turned up marijuana plants drying on tables throughout the home, as well as planters, grow lights and other items used to grow the plants, according to the affidavit.

--Teri Figueroa and Dana Littlefield are writers for The San Diego Union-Tribune