Pasadena Police Arrest Four, Seize Cash and 168 Pounds of Marijuana at Two Illegal Dispensaries Wednesday

Published : Thursday, November 8, 2018 | 6:47 AM

[Updated]  Pasadena Police SWAT team officers serving a criminal search warrant Wednesday at two Walnut Street marijuana dispensaries arrested four people and seized $5,000 in U.S. currency and 168 pounds of marijuana.

The officers were supported by the Department’s armored Bearcat vehicle.

The businesses are located at 1460 and 1470 E. Walnut St., officials said.

Arrested were Jose Cam, 44, from Huntington Park; Vanessa Munoz, 20, from Monrovia; Jocelyn Munoz, 22, from Pasadena; and Monica Sandoval, 20, from Pasadena, police said.

The four were arrested for on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to sell, Lt. Jason Clawson said in a statement.

They released on their signed promises to appear in Pasadena Court, he said.

“This investigation will be presented to prosecutors for the filing of criminal charges,” Clawson said. “Investigations are continuing at other illegal operations around the city to maintain our legal responsibilities and address public safety issues.”

Clawson said the operation was part of the City’s ongoing effort to close down illegal cannabis operations.

Pasadena’s Code Enforcement section had previously issued violations, fines and penalties to both of the businesses affected by Wednesday’s police operations, according to city records.

“We’ve had different approaches to try to address the illegal businesses and this is the next step in some of those efforts,” Pasadena City Attorney Michele Beal Bagneris said Wednesday.

The sale of marijuana to adults age 21 and older in California is only legal if the business is properly licensed to sell recreational marijuana medical marijuana. Neither of the two business in Wednesday’s operation hold proper licensing under current Pasadena ordinances.

Michele Brooke, a local attorney who specializes in marijuana law, said that “in light of Pasadena’s new cannabis business application process set to roll out early next year, we can see the City is going to take the illegal cannabis business activity more seriously.”

“They need to do this to promote business success for the new businesses and to promote public safety and public awareness that there is a difference between the legal and illegal shops in the city,” Brooke said.

The City is about to hold its first public meeting on the new application process for legal commercial marijuana operations.

“As it relates to the City’s approved plan for cannabis operations, on Tuesday, November 13, from 4-6 pm at the Pasadena Center, City staff will provide information on the upcoming process to issue cannabis licenses for retail, cultivation and testing operations,” Clawson noted in his statement.

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