Southern California

40 pounds of pot seized, 7 workers arrested at closed marijuana dispensary in Santa Ana

SANTA ANA – About 40 pounds of marijuana were seized and seven people arrested Tuesday night, Nov. 7 after they re-entered a marijuana dispensary closed earlier in the day by police, authorities said.

Santa Ana vice and narcotics officers went to the LOL dispensary, at 2530 and 2550 N. Grand Ave., with code-enforcement personnel earlier in the day to execute inspection and abatement warrants after it was determined the facility was operating without a city permit, Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

The warrants authorized the installation of metal security doors, and steel bars on windows, to prevent anyone from re-entering the dispensary, Bertagna said.

Around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday, police received a tip that LOL had re-opened.

Officers found several customers in a parking lot waiting to enter the dispensary.

Police determined that at least some of the workers had used a saw to remove the steel bars from the windows to gain access. As officers attempted to investigate, the suspects fled from the rear of the dispensary and jumped over a fence, the corporal said, before they were caught.

About 40 pounds of marijuana, with a street value of $60,000 to $100,000 depending on quality, were confiscated from the dispensary, Bertagna said.

Police said that Navid Nourifard 32, of Encino, the owner of LOL, along with others inside the dispensary were arrested: Kaile Near, 23, of Lake Forest; Amanda Elizabeth Willis, 22, of Irvine; Jessica Caitlynn Rivera, 25, of La Puente; Dayton Lee, 30, of Walnut; Kai Forrest Olson, 22, of Costa Mesa; and Dylan Robert Peck, 31, of Huntington Beach.

They were booked at Santa Ana police headquarters and received misdemeanor citations for suspicion of trespassing and vandalism, Bertagna said. Nourifard also received a misdemeanor citation for suspected possession of marijuana for sale. All of the suspects were released from custody.

In November 2014, Santa Ana voters passed Measure BB to permit up to 20 medical-marijuana dispensaries that are regulated and taxed. Seventeen licensed dispensaries are currently operating.