When Chula Vista police raided an unlicensed marijuana dispensary last week — seizing about $500,000 worth of marijuana products, $10,000 in cash and arresting one person on suspicion of possessing a stolen handgun — they also made sure it would be more difficult for the rogue business to quickly resume operations. Reports The San Diego Union Tribune….
Aided by city workers, officers removed three glass display cases from the Main Street storefront — but instead of carting them off as evidence, they were tossed into a skip loader and dumped into the back of a truck.
The enforcement action comes as Chula Vista police have ramped up efforts to close unlicensed cannabis shops operating in the city. Since April 21, police have shut down more than a dozen outlets, confiscating more than $10 million in cannabis products.
In Tuesday’s raid, police served a search warrant at the business on Main Street near Banner Avenue.
OnScene TV video shows officers carrying cardboard boxes and large clear bags filled with what appeared to be marijuana from the business. The items were loaded into a vehicle.
Police said the outlet was “subject to complaints from the community” and operators had been notified prior to the warrant that they needed to close because they were operating illegally, said police Lt. Dan Peak.
Chula Vista police officials said dismantling and destroying items used by the illegal businesses is not a new tactic, and that any items seized or destroyed in the context of a criminal investigation “are done only as allowed by law.”
“The Police Department has a responsibility to maintain the health and safety of the community and its own personnel. This may include the mitigation of safety hazards and the reduction of the occurrence and re-occurrence of crime — including the occurrence and re-occurrence of illegal cannabis operations,” Capt. Phil Collum said in an email.
“As previously stated, all search warrants and court orders (including the warrant service from the other day) as they relate to the search, seizure or destruction of property are conducted with specific authorization and approval provided by the Superior Court.”
Chula Vista legalized pot shops in 2018 but has not yet issued any cannabis business permits. As the department has moved to crack down on the illegal outlets, officials have expressed frustration that some dispensaries have reopened quickly.
More at https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/story/2020-05-24/chula-vista-police-seize-destroy-cabinets-in-most-recent-pot-dispensary-raid