HAYWARD, Calif. -- The Drug Enforcement Administration said the owner and manager of the Local Patients Cooperative in Hayward were arrested on charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and the distribution of marijuana, according to United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan.
In addition to the arrests of Shon Matthew Squier, 34, and Valerie Lynn Herschel, 23, special agents executed five federal search warrants Tuesday at the Local Patients Cooperative facility located on Foothill Boulevard, two residences in Hayward and two cars.Authorities said they seized hundreds of marijuana plants, marijuana-laced cookies, brownies, popcorn, pies, candy, two inert grenades, cash and several high-value vehicles, including a Mercedes, Hummer, Cadillac Escalade, Volvo, Dodge truck, Harley Davidson and Ducati motorcycles.
According to the criminal complaint, the Hayward Local Patents Cooperative attempted to disguise criminal activity by claiming that it catered exclusively to persons suffering from medical illnesses.
The DEA said persons without any medical condition could purchase marijuana at the retail establishment.
The Hayward Police Department said officers saw more than 200 pounds of marijuana at the location, as well as numerous marijuana plants.
The DEA and Internal Revenue Service began the investigation about one year ago.
Court documents unsealed Tuesday said that on multiple occasions, law enforcement observed between 20 to 30 men, between 20 to 40 years of age entering the distribution center and exiting with a small white bag with the word "Prescription" on it.