While some marijuana grow operations are uncovered after months or even years of investigation, others are discovered by law enforcement, almost by accident. In a recent case, a police chase in Huntington Park ended when a car collided with a warehouse wall, exposing an illegal grow operation. Not only did law enforcement officials catch their target, but they also were able to pursue criminal charges against the individuals responsible for the property. According to authorities, there were 800 plants sized after the wall exposed the growing operation inside.
The property was shared with other businesses who claim that they often smelled marijuana emanating from the warehouse. According to reports, the owner of the property was renting the area of the warehouse to store vintage cars. Now authorities have evidence that this was an illegal growing operation. Our Orange County marijuana law attorneys are experienced in representing marijuana dispensary owners, medical marijuana users, and other individuals who have been charged with marijuana crimes. We have a thorough understanding of California criminal laws as well as medical marijuana law to best protect the interests of our clients. Our team will also review the evidence obtained through any search and seizure to ensure that law enforcement authorities acted lawfully.
The pursuit started when officers spotted the Jetta with an allegedly reckless driver. When officers tried to pull the man over, he picked up his pace and continued on. When the officers pursued the vehicle, the driver hit a curb and the center divide when the car was airborne and crashed into the warehouse. The crash left a large hole in the warehouse and the driver could not exit the vehicle. The driver was taken to the hospital and will be charged with evading an officer as well as other crimes. Police reports indicated that the driver was in his mid-20s and officers suspect that he was driving under the influence.
Immediately after the crash, the fire alarms sounded and the factory was flooded with water from the sprinkler system. Many of the local businesses operating in the warehouse had to suspend operations due to the water damage. According to the HR director who worked at a business next door, the smell emanating from the warehouse was so strong that many employees thought there was a gas leak. The exposure of the marijuana operation made sense to the local business owners who had been confused about the source of the scent.
This case raises important questions about search and seizure law. In accordance with the 4th Amendment Search and Seizure laws, individuals, including their person, car, place of business, or home are free from “unreasonable” search and seizure. These laws are based on citizens’ right to privacy. The interpretation of a legal search and seizure varies depending on the circumstances, so it is important that every case be reviewed by an experienced advocate. In a case where the search resulted in an illegal seizure of property, an experienced advocate can file a motion to suppress the evidence.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
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Cannabiz May Finally Be Able to Use the U.S. Banking System, February 13, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog