In a major bust striking at the roots of an underground cannabis empire, San Diego’s own gained renown as the district attorney’s office charged four individuals with a series of crimes linked to an illegal marijuana dispensary business, as announced on Friday. More than a cool $1 million in misbranded weed wares was seized from multiple locations throughout the city, turning up everything from gummies to jerky jazzed up with THC, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.
Summer Stephan, the no-nonsense San Diego County District Attorney, laid down the law, hitting Jose Delahoz, 55, and Valeria Rada, 42, with child endangerment charges, among other accusations, for their involvement in the unsanctioned enterprise. Diego Delahoz, 30, and Edgar Delahoz, 29, have similarly been slapped with maintaining a place for marijuana to be sold and tax evasion. Should the foursome be convicted, they’re looking at a possible collective clink time that could reach upwards of a staggering 20 years.
The bustling Canably store in Middletown, which masqueraded as a legitimate dispensary while hawking its high-inducing sweets and smokables near schools and homes, was the focus of a multidisciplinary crackdown. Spearheading the operation was the San Diego Police Department, with the tight-knit collaboration of their brothers and sisters in arms across various agencies, including the Chula Vista Police Department and the California Department of Taxation Administration.
While law enforcement swept through Canably’s sham showrooms and pillaged over $1,100,000 worth of THC-laden treasures, they also uncovered a family home doubling as a drug den. It turned out that more than plenty of pot products were being stored within arm's reach of unsuspecting children, stashed beside toys in a converted garage, revealed DA Stephan in a statement that showcased scant care for the safety of young ones.
This crackdown comes amid alarming reports by medical professionals at Rady Children's Hospital, who have noticed a disturbing uptick in juvenile marijuana intoxications—rocketing an 800 percent rise. "Edibles in particular pose a danger to young people who are being marketed to or find products like pot gummies and aren’t aware of the overdose danger," Stephan stated. The DA emphasized the gravity of the discoveries made during the raids and the indefensible negligence of those who risked children’s wellbeing for a quick buck.
Deputy District Attorney Matthew Greco, working tirelessly within the DA's Narcotics Division, is now at the helm of prosecuting what may be one of the year's most sizable sweeps against illegal marijuana merchants in San Diego.