The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office capped a two-month narcotics investigation Wednesday with two arrests in Caruthers.
Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said detectives raided High Grade Products, a clothing store/head shop across Henderson Road from the Fresno County branch library, and arrested shop owner Jose Anguiano, 30, and Jessica Torres, 25, both of Caruthers.
Botti said detectives were tipped that the business, open since 2015, was allegedly flouting the county’s pot ordinance by running a back-room medical marijuana dispensary. Detectives built their case and got a search warrant; around 9:15 a.m., they swooped in and discovered a dispensary allegedly filled with marijuana products including candy gummies, lollipops, chocolate bars, professionally packaged honey oil (a concentrated form of cannabis) and oil to be used in vape pens or electronic cigarettes. There were also asthma inhalers, which dispensed THC, Botti said. All of these products were allegedly being marketed to deliver health benefits.
In order to make a purchase, customers allegedly only needed to show a medical marijuana recommendation card. The shop offered daily discounts on certain products and had a specific pricing structure, Botti said.
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Detectives also found two handguns, cash and small amounts of a substance suspected to be cocaine inside the dispensary, Botti said.
Also Wednesday, detectives took marijuana plants and some processed pot from Anguiano’s home on Mountain View Avenue about two miles west of town, Botti said.
Fresno County enforces a strict ban on all cannabis cultivation, both indoors and outdoors. This ban also applies to those holding medical recommendation cards. Violation of the ordinance could result in consequences including:
▪ Growers can be arrested on a felony charge.
▪ Growers can face fines starting at $1,000 per plant.
▪ Property owners, including family members, can be fined, too.
▪ Compliance with state medical marijuana laws will not stop enforcement.