Police raid five businesses for illegally growing marijuana; 10 arrested

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Police raid five businesses for illegally growing marijuana; 10 arrested

CREATED Sep 12, 2012 - UPDATED: Sep 13, 2012

Web Producer: Rikki Mitchell, Mekita Rivas
Reporter: Alexis Fernandez

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Five businesses were raided Wednesday for illegally growing marijuana, according to Sgt. Chris Widmer with Tucson Police. 

Widmer tells KGUN9 that the business, "Shop 420" has four locations in Tucson and one in Casa Grande, Ariz.

The four locations in Tucson are:

  • 5151 S. 12th Ave.
  • 3408 E. Grant Rd.
  • 8250 E. Broadway Blvd.
  • 408 E. 7th St.

The store's location in Casa Grande is 1145 E. Florence Blvd.

Widmer says the business was advertised as a marijuana ID card certification center, but was doing more than issuing cards.

"In reality what they're doing is growing marijuana and they are selling it, which is illegal," he said.

A month-long investigation discovered that marijuana was illegally being grown and sold and police discovered 14 pounds of high-grade marijuana at the locations worth $50,000.

Ten people were also arrested in the police raids, one was found with a weapon.

The names of the ten people arrested are, Erik Salazar, 32, Renee Valenzuela, 29, Francisco Valenzuela, 32, Primo Camou, 27, John Robles, 24, Richard Leon, 33, Cruz Bradford, 30, Jorge Valenzuela, 26, Roberto Tapia, 47, and Dale Jones, 39.

Multiple agencies were involved in the investigation that began as a complaint by citizens to Tucson City Council.

Michael Kraych runs a business next to one of the "Shop 420" locations and says he wasn't surprised it was shut down.

"I feel like it was kind of expected almost, it just seemed like they were just very sketchy people, there for a week, gone for a week," he said.

David Mehren supports legalizing marijuana. He says this type of raid gives legitimate businesses a bad reputation.

"It was a mistake for them to step over that line when they were in the business of helping people get what they need for their medical needs," he said.