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Temecula's Last Pot Co-op Raided

The DEA smashed into the storefront and agents lugged out about a dozen boxes this morning.

Temecula's last medical marijuana organization was raided today.

The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration around 8 a.m. broke into the storefront of Cooperative Patients' Services at 43122 Via Dos Picos.

They spent more than two hours lugging out cardboard boxes and loading them into a large white van before leaving around 11:30 a.m.

Robin Sax, an attorney for the co-op, and Sarah Pullen, spokesperson for the DEA, did not return calls by publication time.

The agents smashed the shop's front doors with batons and stormed in with guns drawn, said Felipe Santoyo, a witness who was working at

"They had cops all over," Santoyo said.

A patient, Darlene Mestas, arrived during the raid to pick up her marijuana-based medication, walked in the door, muttered, "Oh no," and walked away.

She was disappointed to see her favorite source for medical marijuana broken up, but she can get what she needs elsewhere. "I have other sources. I've been around in the (medical marijuana-growing community) for a long time," she said.

She has a condition similar to Lupus that causes her inflammation. She takes CBD, a derivative of marijuana that reduces the symptoms, she said.

"They carried the CBD. It doesn't have THC that gives you a head high," she said.

In the past, she bought her marijuana from Disabled American Veterans Collective in French Valley until the

She then moved to her current supplier, but now she will buy directly from growers, she said.

Not everybody loved the cooperative. It was a bad influence on the neighborhood, said Santoyo, the local mechanic.

"(The raid) is good because (after the co-op moved in) we started getting break-ins in cars," he said.

He recalled one day coming by and finding the front windows shattered -- by burglars, he speculated -- and he bemoaned the shop for attracting violence.

"It's a good thing to get rid of them," he said.

after sheriff's and city officials criticized him for his criminal record.

in the '90s -- before the plant was legal for medicinal use -- and was sentenced to prison time.

in September on suspicion of driving under the influence of methamphetamine and possessing cocaine.

Cooperative Patients' Services is the longest-running shop of its kind within Temecula city boundaries.

At least two other shops opened, but by the city with legal action and in relation to .

Cooperative Patients' Services refused to close down, and the city sued it. , pending a decision on a different case that could determine the co-op's suit's outcome.

Brenda March 24, 2012 at 08:37 PM
right FIRED. Patients that are there or arriving, the staff, the damages to the office, plants, paperwork, records etc. How can the co-op prove anything with the Police in possession of All their paperwork. Oh yes when they decide to copy it all. The last bust they broke out the walls, the ceilings, they broke fans, and smashed plants, and glass cabinets, and there is NO reason for that type of DISTRUCTION of private property. Everything was accessible without doing damage, but "THEY" feel all powerful or something going in and doing this damage, like a mafia scare tactic. "We will make sure you NEVER open again". "THEY" have made everyone victims using their authority to damage persons, and property. I feel our hands are tied until we all get united somehow?
Galactic Cannibal March 24, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Brenda: Please understand that our so-called "Land of the Free" ...is NOT. We live in a country where a measure of freedom and liberty exists. But only if you conform to the rules of our controllers. the millions of poorly educated U.S. red-necks in our country, will always act according to the rule book. Sadly common sense is ignored or is not there in the first place. Sadly you are wasting your time. The NAZI mentality is alive and prospering in millions of Americans in the U.S . One more thing , drive to Washington D.C and try parking your car within a mile of Congress or the White House. And see how free you are , in the " Land of the Free" If you don't move your car they will arrest you .
Galactic Cannibal March 24, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Brenda: Please understand that our so-called "Land of the Free" ...is NOT. We live in a country where a measure of freedom and liberty exists. But only if you conform to the rules of our controllers. the millions of poorly educated U.S. red-necks in our country, will always act according to the rule book. Sadly common sense is ignored or is not there in the first place. Sadly you are wasting your time. The NAZI mentality is alive and prospering in millions of Americans in the U.S . One more thing , drive to Washington D.C and try parking your car within a mile of Congress or the White House. And see how free you are , in the " Land of the Free" If you don't move your car they will arrest you .
Galactic Cannibal March 24, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Brenda: Please understand that our so-called "Land of the Free" ...is NOT. We live in a country where a measure of freedom and liberty exists. But only if you conform to the rules of our controllers. the millions of poorly educated U.S. red-necks in our country, will always act according to the rule book. Sadly common sense is ignored or is not there in the first place. Sadly you are wasting your time. The NAZI mentality is alive and prospering in millions of Americans in the U.S . One more thing , drive to Washington D.C and try parking your car within a mile of Congress or the White House. And see how free you are , in the " Land of the Free" If you don't move your car they will arrest you .
Brenda March 24, 2012 at 10:50 PM
I think I got it the first time "G", LOL. and I do completely agree with you. :/

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