Search Warrant Served At Marijuana Candy Factory
SEP 27 -- (OAKLAND, CA) – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña announced today the service of multiple federal search and arrest warrants in an investigation relating to Tainted Incorporated, a manufacturer of marijuana-laced candies. As a result of today’s enforcement operation, agents seized hundreds of marijuana-laced products, approximately 460 marijuana plants, one handgun, an unknown amount of U.S. Currency and a 2005 GMC Truck. Some of the marijuana-laced products seized include chocolate candy bars in multiple flavors, cookies, ice cream, peanut butter, jelly, BBQ sauce, chocolate syrup, flavored energy drinks, granola bars, moon pies, brownies, chocolate covered pretzels, and “rice krispy” treats.
“Tainting candy and other products with marijuana is not sweet, it is criminal. These items could have harmful effects on a user, especially the unsuspecting ones,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña. “Manufacturing, distributing, and possessing marijuana-laced products is in clear violation of federal law. We will continue to shut down these production lines, one marijuana-candy factory at a time.”
This investigation began approximately two years ago when the DEA Oakland Resident Office received information that Michael MARTIN, 33, of El Sobrante, California was the owner of Tainted Incorporated, a manufacturer of marijuana-laced candy bars. According to the criminal complaint, Tainted Inc. began in Oakland as a small operation which initially cooked marijuana leaves in butter and made chocolate truffles. Tainted Inc. allegedly expanded into making marijuana-laced candies and supplied cannabis clubs in the Bay Area, Seattle, Vancouver and Amsterdam markets. Agents also learned that Tainted Incorporated is connected to multiple cannabis clubs operating the Los Angeles area. Product order forms seized from a cannabis club operating in Southern California show Tainted products were offered from $2.50 - $20.00 for each item, depending on the type and strength of marijuana product ordered. The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint details how investigators believe that Tainted Inc. ordered almost four tons of chocolate over the last two years and was used in making the marijuana infused candy.
The investigation lead to the searches on September 26, 2007 of Tainted Incorporated’s factory, marijuana growing facility, MARTIN’s residence, the residence of several other Tainted employees, and cars identified as being used in Tainted’s operations. Court documents unsealed today reveal that searches in relation to this case were served at the following locations: the 900 block of 61st St., Oakland, the site where Tainted products were manufactured; the 300 block of 40th St., Oakland, the site where an indoor marijuana grow was located; the 3300 block of Brentwood Ave., the residence of Michael MARTIN; the 4100 block of Howe St., Oakland, the residence of Michael ANDERSON & Diallo MCLINN; and the 600 block of Black Pine Dr., San Leandro, the residence of Jessica SANDERS.
Arrest warrants were served on the following persons in relation to the investigation for violation of Title 21 U.S.C. Section 846 – Conspiracy to Manufacture or Distribute Controlled Substances:
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint SANDERS has been identified as a manager, at Tainted Incorporated, while ANDERSON and MCLINN have been identified as couriers. MARTIN, the owner of Tainted Inc., is currently a federal fugitive in this investigation.
SANDERS, ANDERSON and MCLINN are scheduled for their initial appearance on September 27, 2007, in Oakland before United States Magistrate Judge Wayne D. Brazil at 10 a.m. The maximum statutory penalty for the violation is 20 years imprisonment, $1,000,000 fine, at least 3 years of supervised release, and $100 special assessment. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. A complaint contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, MARTIN, SANDERS, ANDERSON, and MCLINN, must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The United States Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California in Oakland is prosecuting this case. Assistant United States Attorney Shashi Kewalramani is the lead prosecutor assigned to the investigation.
Today’s enforcement operation was conducted by the DEA, with assistance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Oakland Police Department and the Concord Police Department.