Press ReleaseTuesday, September 12, 2023
PRESS RELEASE: Smoke Shop Investigation Leads to Search Warrant and Multiagency Compliance Checks Throughout TurlockOn September 12, 2023, at approximately 10:00 a.m., the Turlock Police Department Special Investigations Unit (S.I.U.), with the assistance from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (C.D.T.F.A.) and City of Turlock personnel, executed a search warrant in the 500 block of Lander Avenue, after the City of Turlock was notified of illegal marijuana sales along with flavored tobacco sales in violation of state law. In addition to the search warrant, teams conducted compliance checks at various smoke shops around Turlock.
The C.D.T.F.A. is responsible to inspect businesses and ensure that all tobacco products are bought and sold legally. City of Turlock City Hall personnel also participated by hand delivering cease and desist letters to businesses that were out of compliance, notifying stores that they are in violation of Turlock Municipal Code and state law, and if not corrected, may result in City action to abate public nuisances and put business licenses at risk.
A total of ten (10) businesses were visited, resulting in seven (7) seizures, six (6) citations issued [4 civil and 2 criminal]. Black-market marijuana, flavored inhalants, and flavored tobacco products were also seized as a result of the search warrant.
Investigators will be working with the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office to pursue charges for illegal marijuana and flavored tobacco product sales.
“As fentanyl becomes more prevalent within communities, it is important that we ensure untested and unregulated black-market marijuana is not accessible to youth and unsuspecting consumers, as it could present a risk to health and safety. We are grateful to the agencies who came together to combat the sales of these harmful products in Turlock”, Chief Jason Hedden stated.
“As we were approaching some of these businesses, word had spread of our operation and employees had removed illegal products from stores. The Turlock Police Department will continue to conduct compliance checks to ensure businesses continue to follow state laws and local ordinances”, Sergeant Joey Rodriguez said.
Turlock Police Department staff ask that anyone with information regarding illegal marijuana or tobacco sales, call our Drug Line at (209)668-5550 extension 6117. You can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at (209)668-5550 extension 6780 or email at email@example.com.
The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209)521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.
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This information is being released by Turlock Police Department Public Affairs Analyst Dominique Sanchez. Any media requests should contact: Public Affairs Analyst Dominique Sanchez Office of Professional Standards Turlock Police Department Desk – (209)656-3148 Cell – (209)638-2698 Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
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