Thursday, March 16, 2006

'Marijuana Candy Factory' Busted In East Bay

ABC 7 San Francisco

Federal agents have stopped what they call a sophisticated marijuana operation involving pot-laced candy and soft drinks in the East Bay.

The scale of this alleged East Bay drug operation is enormous. Thousands of pot plants confiscated, along with money, guns, and candy and soft drinks laced with marijuana.

The DEA says the group is called Compassionate Care. They are a major supplier to pot clubs around the state.

Drug enforcement agents raided five locations in the East Bay, among them a building on Telegraph Avenue in downtown Oakland.

Agents found what they called a sophisticated operation, cultivating thousands of plants on four floors.

Employees, they say, wore white doctors gowns and punched time clocks when they came to work.

The DEA also raided a warehouse in Emeryville which agents described as a marijuana candy factory. While we were there, agents were bringing out boxes filled with candy laced with marijuana extracts.

Brand names such as Hershey's, Twix, Oreos were changed slightly.

An example: Skippy peanut butter was Trippy peanut butter. Also confiscated were marijuana-laced soda pops, with labels resembling Pepsi and Coke. The warning labels on one of the knock-off cans read: 'Don't drink more than four a day.'

Javier Pena, Drug Enforcement Administration: "This can be tragic. A young child or adult could eat one of these and drink one of the sodas. As you can tell, they mimic the brand names."

Some of the other names were Twixed, Pot Tarts and Munchie Way. They're clever, but authorities say illegal.

Twelve people were arrested and a couple of automatic weapons were seized.


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