Whittier police crack down on unlicensed pot dispensaries
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, May, 19th 2011 by THCFinder
WHITTIER - Culminating a three-month investigation, police brought a hammer down Wednesday on unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries, shutting down two underground clinics, including one operating across from East Whittier Middle School.
They also served a search warrant at a medical office in the 7200 block of Greenleaf Avenue, where they arrested a physician on suspicion of aiding and abetting an unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary.
Investigators from the Medical Board of California could take action against the physician's license, police said.
Four other people were arrested on various violations, including operating an unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary, aiding and abetting an unlicensed
None of the suspects' names were released because officials were still sorting out their booking offenses Wednesday evening.
In all, officials served warrants at six locations, including the two dispensaries, the medical office and three other locations associated with the operators of the dispensaries.
The crackdown, conducted with members of the L.A. Impact task force that specializes in uncovering and shutting down unlicensed pot dispensaries, also seized baggies and prescription bottles of processed marijuana, pot plants, cash and other evidence that was still being catalogued late Wednesday.
"We'll spend the next few hours weighing it all, so I don't have the actual amount yet," said Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis. "But we seized a bunch of marijuana today."
The city has permitted only one medical marijuana dispensary to legally operate within its borders, the Whittier Hope Collective on Byron Road. Officials said the illegal dispensaries operated like for-profit stores, selling pot to people with doctors' recommendations.
At the illegal Apex dispensary inside a non-descript building next to a salon on Whittier Boulevard and across from the middle school, the operator was arrested on suspicion of violating parole.
He had a previous felony conviction for selling narcotics, said Sgt. Kevin Ramos.
That dispensary had an ATM on the premises. Officials confiscated cash from the machine. Ramos said the operator will be investigated for possible tax law violations.
"We've frozen accounts," Ellis said.
At least one client who happened to walk into the Greenleaf Healing Center to buy marijuana when police were there was arrested. He turned out to be on county probation, Ellis said.
(Source) Photo from http://www.whittierdailynews.com/crime/ci_18091117
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