Seven marijuana dispensaries in Long Beach were closed Wednesday and 40 people arrested during a multi-agency raid in which search warrants allegedly produced pot, currency and sales equipment.
It was not immediately known if the suspects remained jailed, nor where, after they were taken into custody for owning or operating a marijuana dispensary. Because names were not released by Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman Nancy Pratt, there was no way of readily checking whether the 40 arrested remained in custody.
Pratt said photos of the seized evidence would be provided to the public on Thursday.
Pratt e-mailed a press release but was not immediately available for comment Wednesday night as to whether the 40 arrestees were in custody or whether bail was set.
According to Pratt's news release, the raids were carried out at establishments that had allegedly received the most complaints from the surrounding neighborhood. Search warrants for the locations had been obtained and were the basis for the raids and seizure of property.
The case termed an "enforcement" was carried out, Pratt wrote, "with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the State of California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the Long Beach Fire Department, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, that shut down seven marijuana dispensaries located throughout the City of Long Beach."
The full release follows:
Effective, August 12, 2012, any dispensary that continues conducting business in the City of Long Beach is operating illegally.
The seven dispensaries that were targeted were those that the Police Department had received the highest level of complaints for from the community. During the operation, over 40 individuals were taken into custody and booked for owning/operating a marijuana dispensary. Marijuana plants, processed marijuana, currency, and other evidence were seized. Each of these businesses will be forwarded to the Business Licensing Section for review. Additionally, three of the seven locations were also "red tagged" by the Long Beach Fire Department for posing immediate life-safety hazards. Anyone caught entering these locations will be arrested for trespassing.
The L.B.P.D. was originally planning to serve a search warrant at an eighth location, located at 301 Atlantic Avenue, however, investigators recently received information that the operators had vacated the building and relocated.
The L.B.P.D. is strongly urging the remaining dispensaries to voluntarily cease their operations. Any dispensary that continues to operate will be targeted for closure and those operating the business will be arrested.
Today’s operation addressed the following locations:
745 E. 4th Street (dispensary site)
2130 Cowles Street (cultivation/dispensary site - red-tagged)
1581 W. Wardlow Road (cultivation/dispensary site - red-tagged)
1735 E. 7th Street (cultivation/dispensary site - red-tagged)
2508 E. 10th Street (dispensary site)
3748 Atlantic Avenue dispensary site)
5115 Atlantic Avenue (dispensary site)
Anyone wishing to report dispensaries that continue to operate should contact the Narcotics Section at (562) 570-7221. Anonymous tips may be submitted via text or web by visiting www.tipsoft.com.