Medical-pot brothers held on drug charges

November 01, 2007

Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle

Two East Bay brothers were arrested Tuesday after being indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that they ran a large-scale drug operation from a Hayward medical marijuana club from which proceeds were delivered to a bank by armored car, authorities said.

Winslow Norton, 26, of Lafayette and his brother, Abraham Norton, 23, of Oakland, who together ran the Compassionate Patients' Cooperative on the 21000 block of Mission Boulevard in Hayward, were taken into custody during raids by the Drug Enforcement Administration and other law enforcement agencies. They are being held without bail.

The Norton brothers were indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, distribution of marijuana, maintaining drug-involved premises, conspiracy to launder money, and money laundering.

The brothers used drug proceeds to purchase luxury items and properties, including two new Mercedes-Benzes, a new Ford F-250 truck, three new motorcycles, a home in Lafayette and a commercial building in Albany. Both Mercedeses were seized, as well as the two buildings.

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