Feds Raid Home Linked To Medical Marijuana Seizure
September 28, 2006
Directors Luke Scarmazzo, 26, Ricardo Montes, 26, and employees Jose Malagon, 33, and Antonio Malagon, 28, face federal drug charges.
On Wednesday, agents found $16,000 in cash, 34 pounds of pot-laced baked goods, and guns at the shop. The business earned $4.5 million since it opened in late 2004, said Drug Enforcement Agent Gordon Taylor. State law allows only nonprofit cooperatives to distribute marijuana.
Defense lawyer Robert Forkner, who represents the directors, said the shop provided a lawful community service.
A statewide medical marijuana advocacy group agreed.
"These people were helping patients, and that's the bottom line," said Aaron Smith, a coordinator for Safe Access Now. The organization planned to protest the raids Friday.
Scarmazzo and Montes face a 10-year prison sentence, if convicted.