People's Park. Photo: Mario Antonio Pena Zapatería/Flickr
People’s Park. Photo: Mario Antonio Pena Zapatería/Flickr

Two men have pled guilty and a third is set to appear in court next week after police say they sold drugs to a teenage girl at People’s Park earlier this month.

According to court papers, undercover University of California police officers watched the girl meet up in the park with 43-year-old Marty Rickard at about 2 p.m. on May 8. Rickard introduced the girl to 26-year-old Justin Martin of Oakland.

The trio then walked over to a van parked at Dwight Way and Regent Street, where officers said the girl gave $20 to Martin, who gave it to a man sitting in the van’s driver’s seat, who was later identified as 54-year-old Gregory Pilling of El Cerrito.

Pilling allegedly gave marijuana to the girl, who got on a motorized red scooter and rode away. Arrest team officers stopped the girl a short distance away and recovered the marijuana. Police said the girl admitted to having bought it from the men in the van.

A search of the van led to the recovery of about 11 grams of marijuana and $147 in cash.

According to court papers, Rickard told police he had sold the girl “medicine,” which police said is a common term used for marijuana. Police said they also found him in possession of an iPhone that had been reported lost or stolen, as well as a small amount of a white substance that tested positive for methamphetamine.

Police arrested Pilling and Rickard at the scene, and sought a warrant for Martin’s arrest.

Originally, all three were charged by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with two felonies: furnishing marijuana to a minor over 14, and the sale or transportation of marijuana.

Pilling faced a separate felony charge for possession of marijuana for sale. And Rickard was also charged with receiving stolen property and possession of methamphetamine.

Pilling and Rickard pled guilty May 21 to the lesser misdemeanor charge of possession of concentrated cannabis. They are no longer in custody.

Martin is not in custody and has been scheduled for a preliminary hearing May 27 at 8:45 a.m. in Department 112 at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

Berkeley’s People’s Park marks its 45th anniversary (04.28.14)
Telegraph Ave. scrubbed, cleaned in beautification effort (03.25.14)
Improving Telegraph Ave. on new UC official’s ‘to-do’ list (12.17.13)

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...