Authorities suspect illegal drug sales via medical marijuana dispensaries

Authorities Wednesday served search warrants at 16 locations in four counties — including medical marijuana dispensaries in Covina and Alhambra — and arrested 11 people on suspicion of drug-related charges, authorities said.
The searches took place in in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties and targeted what is believed to be a single group of criminals illegally making and selling drugs via medical marijuana dispensaries, Capt. Ralph Ornelas of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Narcotics Bureau said.
The names of those arrested were not released late Wednesday pending further investigation, he said.
“Members of the Narcotics Bureau, in a joint effort (with other agencies), served simultaneous search warrants at 16 locations related to the illegal manufacture and sales of marijuana, cannabis concentrates and marijuana-laced food products through various outlets in Southern California and other states,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
The searches targeted dispensaries and individuals operating out of compliance with California’s medical marijuana legislation, Ornelas said.
“This organization was definitely working outside the law,” he said.
Among the sites searched by law enforcement were the Alternative Medicine Collective of Covina, 20050 E. Arrow Highway, Suite B, as well as an Alhambra dispensary, Ornelas said. The name of the Alhambra dispensary was not available late Wednesday.
Officials seized 35 marijuana plants, valued at $70,000; 78 pounds of processed pot, valued at $234,000; seven gallons of concentrated cannabis oils, valued at $44,800; about 4,000 pre-packaged, marijuana-laced edible products; hydroponic growing equipment and chemicals; and about $20,000 in cash, according to the sheriff’s statement.
Locations searched included five medical marijuana dispensaries, one cultivation site, two processing sites and one sailboat, officials added.
The suspects were booked on suspicion of crimes including cultivation of marijuana, sales of marijuana and hashish, sales of methamphetamine, sales of cocaine, sales of psilocybin and manufacturing a controlled substance.

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