DEA Raids Two Los Angeles Collectives

August 12 – According to press and eyewitness reports, the DEA and other federal and local agencies raided two Los Angeles cannabis collectives today, as well as the residences of collective officials.

Officials say more than 20 people from various agencies served a state search warrant at around 11 a.m. at the Organica Collective in Marina del Rey. According to AP, Los Angeles police, the FBI and DEA were still searching the distribution center three hours later. DEA spokesman Jose Martinez said agents also served the warrant at the Overland Gardens Collective in West Los Angeles.

According to the LA Times blog, The Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Torrance Police Department and Culver City Police Department took part in the raids.

During one of the raids, officers shot a dog believed to be a pit bull, but the circumstances of the shooting remain unclear, a law enforcement spokesman said.

Organica’s director Jeff Joseph was reportedly arrested at his home and will be held at the LAPD’s Pacific Division, 12312 Culver Blvd.

Only July 31, 2008, Organica saw a similar raid, and the LA Times website briefly published a photo taken showing one of the officers wearing a Blackwater T-shirt. The Times said they took down the photo after the DEA asked them to, in order to protect the identity of an undercover officer.

UPDATE: Officials reported making one arrest and finding 200 plants, 100 pounds of marijuana, and $100,000 cash. The dog that was shot by authorities was treated by a vet and expected to make a full recovery.

LA City Code Enforcement was also reportedly at the raid on Organica, which sits precariously between LA and Culver City, an unfriendly place for medical marijuana.

Stay Informed! Join California NORML’s Email Alert List