SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s personnel on Wednesday served search warrants at 5 cannabis dispensaries, aspect of a multi-jurisdictional investigation into suspected tax evasion and funds laundering.
The dispensaries are also suspected of failing to deliver workers’ compensation insurance coverage to workers, as properly as unlawful cannabis distribution and cultivation.
According to Santa Cruz County spokesman Jason Hoppin, investigators had been targeting cannabis operators who are suspected of operating out of compliance with state and nearby regulations.
The investigation consists of proof that at least one particular of the enterprises was making use of funds orders in a sophisticated work to launder massive amounts of currency, and prevent payment of Santa Cruz County Cannabis Company Tax, Hoppin stated.
Investigators seized 540 pounds of processed cannabis and extra than $140,000 in money, along with small business and banking records.
All the enterprises searched had been controlled by the very same men and women, who are suspected of directing particular economic transactions to prevent economic reporting and tax obligations, Hoppin stated.
Moreover, many residential properties in Santa Cruz County owned by the suspects have been the concentrate of current investigations for unregulated, unlawful industrial cannabis activity.
Investigators are figuring out regardless of whether unregulated cannabis from these properties was introduced into the lawful, regulated industry by means of the 5 enterprises searched, Hoppin stated.
The investigation integrated Redwood Skyline on the 2700 block of South Rodeo Gulch in Santa Cruz, Rooted Republic on the 100 Block of Manfre Road in Watsonville, Boutique Limitless on the 100 block of Airport Road in King City, Monterey Botanicals on the 22000 block of Fuji Lane in Salinas and Newtown Enterprises on the 7000 block of Highway 1 in Moss Landing.
No arrests had been produced through the service of the search warrants. Investigators will be consulting with the regulating agencies and District Attorney’s Workplace to decide criminal charges and civil assessments, Hoppin stated.
The total quantity of unpaid cannabis tax to the County of Santa Cruz will be determined after small business records and banking records have been examined.
The investigation integrated the Internal Income Service Criminal Investigation Unit, California Division of Tax and Charge Administration, California Bureau of Cannabis Handle, Monterey County Sheriff’s Workplace, California Division of Fish and Wildlife and other agencies.