April 29, 2016
Contact: Erica C. Curry
Phone Number: (602) 664-5600
DEA Medical Marijuana Case Secures Indictments Against Five
Caregiver Grow Scheme Uncovered by Investigators
PHOENIX - Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman and Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a State Grand Jury indictment of Perry Hester, Brandon Hester, James Donaldson, and Christopher Rafferty in connection with a statewide medical marijuana caregiver grow scheme.
The defendants are accused of giving fraudulent information to the state of Arizona in order to be classified as medical marijuana caregivers with marijuana cultivation permissions. According to the indictment, the defendants allegedly listed false addresses for patients in remote areas across the state. With those alleged false addresses, the defendants were authorized for medical marijuana cultivation. The group is accused of using their fraudulently obtained marijuana grow permission to cultivate and sell illegal marijuana inside of a warehouse on South 40th Street in Phoenix.
Christopher Martin was also indicted for allegedly transporting money and cannabis for sale.
DEA Agents, along with Phoenix Police Department and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Offices Detectives, served 12 search warrants last week and seized more than 550 marijuana plants, 20 pounds of harvested marijuana, and cannabis extraction equipment. Deputies also seized more than 15 firearms and over $100,000 in alleged drug sale proceeds.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Phoenix Police Department, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, and supported by several other local agencies. The Arizona Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting this investigation.