The raid on a Mendocino County medical marijuana dispensary earlier this month was triggered by an investigation in Colorado, police said.
On March 4, a team of investigators from the DEA and Mendocino County law enforcement served search warrants on four addresses. The raid was centered on the Love In It Cooperative on the coast in Mendocino, but warrants were also served at the Bed, Bud and Breakfast dispensary in Albion and at properties in Fort Bragg and Comptche.
Police seized pot, edibles, scales, a money counter, business records, five guns (including an assault weapon), items used to make honey oil, and about $65,000 in cash. They also found about 800 cannabis plants and other evidence.
The investigation that led to the raid was born in Colorado, said Capt. Greg Van Patten, spokesman for the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. Police there intercepted a package filled with cash and tied it to the Love In It Cooperative, Van Patten said.
A regional law enforcement task force in Colorado then alerted Mendocino County authorities about the find. Police in California soon intercepted another package, this time with weed in it, Van Patten said.
Six people were arrested in connection with the Mendocino County raids. Sherry Glaser, 53, the executive director of Love In It Cooperative, was charged with possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation of marijuana, and management of a location used for unlawful manufacture or storage of a controlled substance.
Robert Love, 52, was charged with possession of marijuana for sale and cultivation of marijuana, as was Dana Howells, 26. Colton Nation, 18, and Cassidy Erickson, 18, both were charged with possession of marijuana for sale. Michael Spradlin, 19, was charged with possession of marijuana for sale and transportation, distribution or importation of marijuana.
Larissa Maple, 26, was charged with possession of marijuana for sale and management of a location used for unlawful manufacture or storage of a controlled substance.
Howard Baker, 56, and Kevin Logan, 34, both were charged with manufacture of controlled substances.
Ironically, pot is fully legal in Colorado and almost so in California. Voters in the Golden State approved medical weed in 1996, and dispensaries have been plentiful, and mostly tolerated, since the early 2000s. The state is widely expected to legalize recreational weed in 2016.
In Colorado, meanwhile, voters chose legalization in 2012. The first retail pot shops opened there Jan. 1.