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Marijuana

Marijuana Dispensary in Northridge Was a Front For a Cocaine Ring, Cops Say: Owner Raymond George, Five Others, Arrested

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Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 8:02 AM
click to enlarge Growing on-site. - LAPD
  • LAPD
  • Growing on-site.

A Northridge medical marijuana dispensary that was the site of an attempted murder last year was raided this week by cops, who allege it was used as a front for an L.A.-to-Cleveland cocaine operation. In fact, they say, they came upon a huge cocaine transaction right as they were about to serve their search warrant.

Six suspects were arrested, including the owner of White Oak Healing Center, Raymond George, whom the LAPD says in a statement "was involved in the interstate transportation and sales of marijuana and cocaine to the Midwest."

Police used the occasion to call out pot shops with shady goings on in L.A:

Many of these businesses are supported by the same criminal element that would be selling drugs even if they could not hide behind the laws written to help people with serious illnesses. There is no provision in the California Compassionate Use Act (CUA - Prop 215) or Medical Marijuana Program (MMP- SB 420) for the retail sale of marijuana.

click to enlarge Guns and healing. - LAPD
  • LAPD
  • Guns and healing.

Cops raided the dispensary at 8244 White Oak Avenue Wednesday after obtaining a search warrant based on what they say were violations of medical marijuana law.

But reading the LAPD's statement, it was clear they believed that George was involved in some drug running, and that the attempt on his son Elias' life "had all the appearances of an organized-crime style hit."

That shooting happened in December. According to the LAPD:

Over the next few months investigating officers learned Mr. George maintained residences in Los Angeles and the Cleveland, Ohio area. He ran the White Oak Healing Center as a retail storefront for the cultivation and sale of marijuana and as a location to facilitate the wholesale sale and distribution of cocaine.

During raid SWAT officers were called in but it doesn't appear they were needed.

More:

While SWAT officers were preparing to serve the warrant Mr. George and several of his associates arrived at the location and negotiated the sale and delivery of six kilos of cocaine.

Oops.

Cops say White Oak was growing green on-site, 300 plants worth. They say they also found nine kilos of coke in a nearby car (which had Ohio plates and secret compartments), a loaded AK-47 assault weapon, two loaded pistols and $6,658 in cash.

The six arrestees were booked on suspicion of conspiracy to sell coke and weed. Bail was set at $1.5 million each. The honor roll:

Raymond George, 60 years old

Halz Carrera, 51 years old a resident of Los Angeles, CA

Reginald Beijer, 59 years old a resident of Pasadena, CA

Francisco Franco, 41 years old a resident of Riverside, CA

Francisco Vallejo, 30 years old a resident of Tijuana, Mexico

Alfredo Gonzalez 51 years old a resident of Pasadena, CA

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]

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