At least 14 Puget Sound-area medical-marijuana dispensaries were swept up in a long-expected law-enforcement raid that ranks as the largest since the state approved medical marijuana.
The coordinated raids across Thurston, Pierce and King counties targeted dispensaries that, according to law enforcement, were hiding behind the medical-marijuana law to make illegal sales, in some cases to people who were not patients. More than a dozen people were arrested.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle said the raids in Seattle were part of four ongoing investigations.
“State laws of compassion were never intended to protect brash criminal conduct that masquerades as medical treatment,” U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said in a statement. It said one operator was arrested on suspicion of violating terms of his supervised release for a prior felony conviction.
Special Agent in Charge Matthew Barnes of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which led the Seattle raids, said they targeted those who cultivated and sold marijuana while exploiting state law “to satisfy their own personal greed.”
Neighbors to the Seattle Cannabis Co-op in Crown Hill saw officers in DEA jackets and carrying a battering ram and shield swarm the dispensary just after 11 a.m. At least one employee was seen in handcuffs, though it was unclear if arrests were made.
– Read the entire article at The Seattle Times.