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Three Arrested After Pot Deal Goes Bad

What looked like road rage turns out to be a fight over marijuana.

Two Temecula men were arrested Friday afternoon on an I-15 on-ramp after they assaulted a Lake Forest man following a marijuana deal, according to the Riverside Sheriff’s Department.

Highway Patrol officers responding to reports of three men fighting at 4:26 p.m. on the northbound I-15 on-ramp at Rancho California Road initially thought it was a road-rage incident, said sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Fredericks. Temecula police responded and determined that the altercation began a short time earlier near the intersection of Yukon and Rancho California roads after one of the men thought he had been ripped off during a marijuana deal, Fredericks said.

Arrested were 20-year-old Miguel Rosales and 19-year-old Gualberto Nino-Cruz Jr., both of Temecula, and 23-year-old Dominique Reliford of Lake Forest.

Police said Reliford bought marijuana from Rosales, but Rosales believed he was cheated in the transaction. Reliford fled the scene of the sale in his vehicle, with Rosales and Nino-Cruz chasing him in another vehicle.

Reliford was stopped in traffic at the intersection of Overland and Ynez roads when the Temecula men began assaulting him as he sat in his vehicle, police said. During the assault they stole property from Reliford and caused severe damage to his vehicle.

Reliford drove away but his vehicle broke down on the Rancho California Road on-ramp, where CHP officers soon arrived and detained all three suspects. Approximately two ounces of marijuana and stolen property were recovered from both vehicles, police said.

The three suspects were booked into the Southwest Detention Center. Rosales and Nino-Cruz were booked for robbery and conspiracy, both felonies, with Rosales facing a felony sale-of-marijuana charge. They remained in custody Saturday morning on $30,000 bail. Reliford was booked for felony sale of marijuana and was released Saturday morning on $20,000 bail.   

LHJ November 19, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Actually, I was referring to the black market (which does not belong exclusively to gangs and cartels), and yes the black market does profit from the sale of liquor. Please, before you suggest someone's "argument" lacks substance, look up the issue of moonshine. It exists today and the feds are still spending large sums of money and manpower in certain states to find the people making it, selling it and buying it..(and liquor is legal) so they can prosecute them and put them in jail. I think you would be wise to educate yourself rather than make statements without doing your research. The country doesn't stop at the borders of the state of California, not yet anyway. I know some people can't resist arguing, but really.. did you figure out who (in the article) sold the marijuana?
Andy November 19, 2012 at 04:25 AM
"High prices due to patents and taxes on legal items make the black market profitable." Who is profiting off the sale of alcohol and tobacco in the black market? Who is competing against RJ Reynolds, Philip Morris, CVS, 7/11, Rite Aid? Moonshine hasn't been legal and has a very low demand due to its unpleasantness, and is a bad commodity to compare to items like marijuana, tobacco, and properly distilled alcohol. Moonshiners are basically tax dodgers. Aside from their process being dangerous, the alcohol is not professionally filtered and often has contaminants, sometimes toxic levels of methanol. It is good unlicensed liquor is illegal because it's dangerous when amateurs distill and sell tainted and possibly contaminated liquor using questionable methods. Yes, people make small time deals where they sell items that are untaxed and have no license to sell those items. There are "black market hotdogs" and "black market t-shirts" when you walk out of a concert. These "black markets" are extremely small, short term, and temporary. Again, this is a bad concept to compare to a commodity with a very high demand that has been made completely illegal.
Andromeda November 19, 2012 at 05:56 AM
It will be interesting to learn how the Feds respond to the new state laws passed by the voters to legalize pot in Colorado and Washington. Will the Feds react the same way as they reacted to the California voters legalizing medical marijuana - basically by thumbing their noses at us and raiding the medical pot shops?
LHJ November 19, 2012 at 06:07 AM
I guess you weren't able to figure out who actually sold the marijuana in the article. LOL You are arguing a moot point. Prohibition ended December 5, 1933. Black market alcohol manufacture continues (regardless of the level, pleasantness or demand as compared to marijuana) and consumption continues. As you said, "nearly 100 years ago" prohibition ended (actually 79 years), but who's counting? At what point do you consider something "temporary"? Black market alcohol has continued long past prohibition. How is that temporary? Interesting attempt to distort reality there. Having said that, who really cares? You are arguing for the sake of arguing. Look at your post. Tax dodgers.. one of the biggest motivators for black market items. Black market thrives, contrary to your earlier assertion. Black market will continue to profit from marijuana long after it becomes legal. As it does with other items. Black market will sell to those who aren't legally old enough to purchase marijuana (once there is legal age established) as with alcohol. The quality may, or may not be as good. The same as with alcohol, prescription medication and many other products currently sold on the black market. What point exactly are you still wanting to argue? I would like to avoid your next shift on the subject and bring this to a close. Simply put, the black market will not go away once marijuana becomes legal. You have no proof it will, not by history or psychic projections.
Frank Mockery November 19, 2012 at 09:02 AM
Why do the Feds send threatening letters to dispensary landlords instead of raiding & prosecuting those operating all the medical marijuana dispensaries ? Because they lack the resources (DEA Agents,Prosecutors,Judges,Courtrooms,Prison Cells) to do so & they most likely couldn't convict them all if they managed to get them in front of a jury ! We're all familiar with Eliot Ness raiding speakeasys & busting up distilleries,but what most people don't know is that juries refused to convict nearly 50% of those arrested ending Prohibition on a de facto basis ! Through a little known legal quirk dating to old English law referred to as "jury nullification" juries can refuse to convict regardless of the evidence presented or the judge's instructions ! Jurors can refuse to convict for any reason they want & those jurors can't be punished for the verdicts they render ! You'll never find a judge who'll tell jurors about their right to do so & an attorney who had the audacity to mention it in front of the jury risks an immediate mistrial & disbarment ! Juries are refusing to convict those in compliance with their state guidelines regarding medical marijuana even though defendants are prohibited from mentioning it as a defense in federal court ! JURY NULLIFICATION tell a friend !!!
5150 November 19, 2012 at 12:29 PM
How about if you get caught selling drugs , you hang, now that would stop this nonsense.
LBV Collins November 19, 2012 at 02:46 PM
"It will be interesting to learn how the Feds respond to the new state laws passed by the voters to legalize pot in Colorado and Washington. " I agree, Andromeda. I suspect that the Fed's crackdown on California Medical Marijuana dispensaries may have been a warning to other states that were legalizing MMJ. But the Feds are fighting a losing battle. With the legalization of recreational marijuana, the proverbial genie was let out of the bottle. While I wouldn't be surprised to see the Fed's voice concerns... even make threats... against anyone planning to profit from legal pot in Washington and Colorado, I really don't know whether they'll follow through with any actions. What I think we will see, though, is a lot more pro-pot ballot initiatives in a lot more states, with voters legalizing recreational marijuana. And then, at some point in the future, the Fed's will simply remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act (much to the chagrin of the DEA and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.)
LBV Collins November 19, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Well.... I disagree, 5150. We already have pretty harsh laws against selling/possessing large quantities of marijuana, and it hasn't stopped people from trafficking. If death were a penalty, I think the only thing we would see is a rise in the price of pot and an increase in crime. Mexico is a perfect example. Well over 50,000 people have been killed in the last five years since Mexico's government cracked down on the cartels... and it hasn't stopped the cartels from supplying pot to folks here in the good ol' U.S, of A.
Maxx November 19, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Stoners get crazy too!
LBV Collins November 19, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Naw... Stoners get hungry, and then they fall asleep. ;)
Andy November 19, 2012 at 04:36 PM
You argue "legalizing marijuana isn't likely to stop the black market", "the black market will continue to exist". Really? You believe the same black market that thrives off cannabis' illegality will continue to exist, serving the majority of cannabis consumers after it is legalized? No, that black market will die off when people are able to legally buy, sell, and produce their own cannabis. Again, like any other good that is taxed (coffee, tobacco, alcohol, t-shirts, hotdogs), there will be tax dodgers who will dodge taxes on ANY good they sell. If a significant amount of consumers begin buying from tax dodgers, the legal market will be forced to lower its price on the good or the government will lower the tax. Then consumers return to purchasing from their convenient (black markets are inconvenient), legal source. The only "black markets" you will see after cannabis is legalized will be like the "black market" is for alcohol today. They will be small, temporary, not wide-spread, insignificant (not large or noteworthy). Nobody wants dirty moonshine (its just amateur distilled alcohol) when you can go to Walmart and buy better quality for really cheap. Even with tax added, it still beats the stuff on the streets. Now tell me, who is arguing for the sake of arguing? Your insinuation that legalizing marijuana will not stop the black market is wrong. It would destroy it, rarely leaving room for someone wanting to pull a quick scheme, like they could on any other good thats sold.
LHJ November 19, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Interesting thing about predicting the future. We will find out in the future. You have no historical reference to substantiate your assertion that the black market for marijuana will disappear. There is substantial historical data to suggest that the black market will continue for marijuana whether it becomes legal or not. Show me some historical data that would support your claim. A simple search will back mine up. Interesting word "amateur". What exactly is an amateur? If a family has been making something for generations, is that your amateur? Or is it just that because they don't have a license and they "dodge" taxes that makes them amateur. You seem to live in a fairytale world, because the real one has a thriving black market for just about any product a person might want to buy. And that will continue whether you believe it or not. And, as I said (but you attempt to reclassify), taxes are one major reason for the black market. Government regulation (including taxes) is one driver of the black market. Those "tax dodgers" you keep referring to are the black marketeers. You call them tax dodgers, the rest of the world calls it the black market. Nice attempt to rationalize away the black market.. Again, show me where legalizing something has (in the past) killed the black market. LOL - if that were the way it worked, there would be no black market for drugs you can get with a prescription.
Andy November 19, 2012 at 05:07 PM
@LHJ : Funny you spin your arguments by playing with technicalities on words and concepts, only to end up with you comparing the black market for marijuana to the black market for toys, clothes, and pot-n-pans. I suppose in your mindset that coffee currently has a large, problematic black market and making it illegal would have no effect on the black market lol. What is your solution LHJ? Should we have left alcohol illegal? Should we let moonshiners sell their items untaxed and sell their tainted booze next to the professional distilled booze? Should we send police to raid "black market, untaxed" lemonaid stands? The black markets for coffee, alcohol, pots-n-pans, and toys are NOT good examples of "thriving black markets", as you say.
Andy November 19, 2012 at 05:23 PM
@LHJ : Apparently you seem to live in a fairytale world thinking black markets are "thriving" for legal goods ("toys, clothes, pot-n-pans") like they are for illegal goods like marijuana.
MFriedrich November 19, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Sure stoners get crazy. Driving 27 mph crazy. Contrast that with sloppy drunk mom who downs two bottles of wine at lunch on Sunday afternoon and drives her 2 children and mother home, wraps the car around a tree and is ejected 55 yards into a brick retaining wall because she forgot to buckle her seatbelt. Give me stoner crazy every damn time.
LHJ November 19, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Andy, You are unable to provide any historical proof for your claim of the black market going away for marijuana. I did not suggest there is going to be a big or small black market. I simply stated that it will exist, where you claim it will go away. The future will tell. Whether or not something should be legal is not what we are talking about. What we are talking about is the claim that the black market will go away. Anyone suggesting that the black market is insignificant should look at the facts. I would love to have a tiny fraction of the "insignificant" money the black market generates. Take a look at the numbers.. http://www.havocscope.com/products/ranking/ A fraction of any one of the categories listed would do me just fine for the next 20 years.. "fairytale"?, not looking from my side of the conversation.
Andromeda November 19, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Frank. you don't understand how the system works. The local cops are raiding the medical pot shops. They usually have one token DEA agent in the bunch to give the raid legitimacy, so it can be prosecuted in Federal court. So it the local cops too who are thumbing their noses at the will of the California voters who approved medical marijuana by quite a substantial margin. You see, the local cops get lots of money from the Feds for participating in marijuana eradication programs. Plus, a portion of the asset seizures that go along with the drug raids go to the local cops. So who do you think the local cops are going to support? The California voters or the Feds? Follow the money, my man. The money will ALWAYS give you the rest of the story that you don't actually read in the articles. Please.....THINK!!!! We don't have enough THINKERS in our society. Everybody simply believes what they are told. No wonder we're in such big trouble as a society!!!
Andy November 19, 2012 at 06:00 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_market "Prohibition A classic example of creating a black market is the Prohibition of alcohol. In the United States many organized crime syndicates took advantage of the lucrative opportunities in the resulting black market in banned alcohol production and sale. Most people did not think drinking alcohol was particularly harmful nor that its buyers and sellers should be treated like common criminals. This led to the illegal speakeasies, and organizations such as the Mafia grew tremendously more powerful through their black market activities distributing alcohol. This lasted until repeal of Prohibition." The link you posted provides a great example of black market profits generated from items that are illegal to possess. Many of those listed are illegal drugs or prostitution related, which may have not made that list if they were sold legally. The same applies to prescription drugs too. Possessing or selling prescription drugs for recreational purposes is the same as possessing or selling any other illegal drug, so there is a major black market for recreational prescription drugs. The majority of the other items listed are the results from scamming people. The tobacco profiting results from tax schemes. People interested in legalizing marijuana will care about the black market that stays after legalizing marijuana the same way people care about the black market right now for coffee, alcohol, tobacco, lemonaid, hotdogs, muffins...
LHJ November 19, 2012 at 06:09 PM
The issue raised is not whether people will care that the black market exists. The issue isn't whether or not prohibition is smart or if it is a failed policy or not. The issue is that the black market will exist and it will exist in a substantial way, contrary to your claim. It doesn't matter why it will exist. The fact that items purely illegal on the list are included with those items that net billions of dollars every year for otherwise legal items is not an indication that the black market is "insignificant. As stated above, you are arguing just to argue. The black market will still exist for marijuana just as it does for many other items that are currently otherwise legal. You have lost the argument. The future will prove this fact. End of discussion from my end.
Andy November 19, 2012 at 06:20 PM
"and it will exist in a substantial way" - This is where you are wrong. I believe you have just lost the argument on your original statement that "There is still a black market for cigarettes, liquor, prescription drugs, toys, clothes, pot-n-pans (just about everything that is legal). So, legalizing marijuana isn't likely to stop the black market. High prices due to patents and taxes on legal items make the black market profitable. And one thing will be true regardless of whether or not marijuana becomes legal. We WILL pay high taxes on everything that is legal, and the black market will continue to exist." You make several contradictions in your points regarding the black markets in your statements... stating they will continue to "thrive" in a "substantial way". Where is the black market for coffee? Maybe in counterfeit foods, which would be a "scam". Marijuana and other drugs would not make the list in your link posted if they were legal. Black markets from schemers and tax dodgers are a completely different market than profiting off goods that are illegal to sell and possess. Have a good day!
Ryan Newby November 19, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Why is it important to what degree a black market will or wont exist. The only market for pot before MMJ laws was the black market, since MMJ laws the black market has been reduced to some degree assuming demand has stayed relativity constant. A market with less regulation will have a smaller black market, since a black market is a market outside of Government control. A market will no Government regulation is just the market, there is no black market. Why is this important again?
Frank Mockery November 19, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Everyone knows that local governments & local law enforcement are medical marijuanas biggest adversaries as they spend millions on attorneys & lobbyists in an effort to defy state law ! These self-righteous simpletons defy state law (which they took an oath to uphold) in an effort to impose their "values" on the majority of their neighbors who vehemently disagree with their agenda ! Just another reason why most voters have so little respect for politicians or the stormtroopers they have at their disposal ! Look for the Feds to abandon their untenable position that marijuana is more dangerous than heroin,LSD,cocaine & methamphetamine with no medical value & capitulate to the will of the people much sooner than most think possible ! People have enjoyed using marijuana for thousands of years & they'll still be doing so long after these asinine bastards are dead,buried & long forgotten !!! Those opposed to the medical use of marijuana are in for quite a shock as legalized marijuana in California is now inevitable,it's now only a matter of when !!!
Brenda November 19, 2012 at 11:01 PM
LOLOL LHJ, you are a riot. Rosales sold the drugs to Reliford. Reliford should NOT have been booked for felony sale of marijuana, he was the buyer? This was very confusing I have to admit. Not sure who did what.
Andy November 19, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Quick summary : The market for illegal marijuana : item is illegal to possess, item is illegal to sell, the item isn't taxed, the item has a high demand. the legal market has no involvement with the item, the black market reaps all the profits from the item that has had its price artificially inflated due to the risk involved with selling the item. The market for lemonade : the item is legal to possess, the item is legal to sell with a license, the item is taxed, the item has a high demand. the legal market reaps the overwhelming majority of the profits and taxes from the item, the black market profits are extremely small in comparison to the profits made in the legal market - the black market profits are generated from tax evasion and scams. The market for legalized marijuana : the item is legal to possess, the item is legal to sell with a license, the item is taxed, the item has a high demand. the legal market reaps the overwhelming majority of the profits and taxes from the item, the black market profits are extremely small in comparison to the profits made in the legal market - the black market profits are generated from tax evasion and scams. The market for coffee : same as lemonade The market for alcohol : same as lemonade The market for tobacco : same as lemonade The market for gasoline : same as lemonade The market for prohibition-era alcohol : same as illegal marijuana
Andy November 19, 2012 at 11:10 PM
What LHJ also fails to note is the black market profits related to alcohol & tobacco (and gasoline and food) on the list in the link he provided are related to tax evasion and scams. If alcohol and tobacco were in the same "illegal" category as marijuana and their demand was kept the same, they would take the #1 and #2 spot on that list. The modern day era black market profits for alcohol and tobacco are a tiny, minute fraction of the taxes and profits made off their sale in the legal market.
Imperfect Man November 20, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Andy, Do you often attempt to redefine words to suit your needs? I think LHJ and Ryan Newby were pretty clear that the black market is exactly what you are trying to re-brand as something else. The black market is the illegal market. The black market includes "scams", "tax dodgers" and all of the other people who sell items illegally. The list that LHJ pointed out is also clearly presented. It includes a lot of things. It's the black market. That's it. You seem to have a problem admitting that you are now describing the black market, so that you don't have to admit that it is the black market.. silly ... The black market exists and will exist long after pot is legal for recreational use. The only way the black market for pot will disappear is if the government allows recreational use without taxing, or setting an age limit. As long as there is an illegal aspect of anything like pot, or alcohol, or cigarettes, there will be an illegal market for them. Just as there is an illegal market now for cigarettes and alcohol, whether you decide to admit it or not. geezzzzzz... are you really that thick?
Imperfect Man November 20, 2012 at 04:19 AM
And some people get crazy without any help at all.
Andy November 20, 2012 at 09:08 PM
If you believe the black market for marijuana will "thrive", and that its profits and organization will not be reduced "in a substantial way" after marijuana is legalized because of tax dodgers, counterfeiters, and people selling to underage kids, then there is no hope for continuing this discussion.
Andy November 20, 2012 at 11:14 PM
@Imperfect : I had no issue with admitting tax evasion and scams were black market profits. Where am I redefining words? Please tell. See my second thru last replies...
Imperfect Man November 20, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Andy, The issue, based on the posts made by LHJ and Ryan Newby is that the black market will continue to be there for pot. You seem to be arguing that the black market for pot will be "insignificant", but when a person looks at the figures, any business that generates multiple billions of dollars (such as alcohol and cigarettes, which are legal items) in our society, we don't consider those figures to be insignificant. In fact, when a profit is in the billions of dollars, our society considers that a thriving business. I fail to understand how you can reason that they aren't thriving. "Small time", "amateurs" don't make billions of dollars, even if you group them together. You seem to want to make a comparison, when the statement is made that the black market will still thrive. There is nobody disputing that the black market may be reduced by a percentage based on the extent pot is legalized. But, that wasn't the statement that you decided to challenge. You challenged a statement that simply said the black market will continue, and will thrive. And that Andy, can't really be disputed. It will. Well, I guess you can dispute it. You can divide the black market up into different classifications of illegal activity and claim they are insignificant but, can you, really believe that legalizing a high demand product such as pot and regulating it, having age restrictions on it, is truly going to make the black market for it "insignificant"? That is just silly.

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