The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and other law enforcement agencies arrested 11 people during a four-county raid on marijuana facilities that recovered drugs as well as pot-laced breakfast cereal and candy bars.
Officials served search warrants this week at 16 locations, seizing 78 pounds of marijuana as well as related evidence, according to a statement from the Sheriff's Department. Officials said the drugs had a street value of $234,000.
The crackdown targeted medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties. Local law enforcement was aided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the State Board of Equalization and the State Franchise Tax Board.
According to the statement, officials found pot-laced crisped rice treats, orange drinks and "cannabis-laced cereal similar to Froot Loops or Apple Jacks."
[Updated, 3:34 p.m.: By Friday, all but one of those arrested had been released from jail, sheriff’s records show. Most posted bond; three were released Friday after authorities determined there was insufficient grounds to file a criminal complaint, a sheriff’s spokesman said. The remaining suspect was being held on an unrelated warrant.
Erik Andresen, who was released Thursday, said none of the 11 were charged in connection with the raids.
Andresen said he works with four dispensaries that operate legally as collectives and provide a valuable service to patients who have doctor recommendations to use medical marijuana. The collectives, he said, were providing patients with free medical marijuana on Saturday and Sunday.
“We follow the law,” said Andresen, who complained that he was a victim of harassment by law enforcement. “There are no profits because anything we make over the till goes back to patients for free medications. I don’t understand what is so wrong with following the law.”]
Shelby Grad and Jack Leonard
October 9, 2010
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