Raided medical marijuana dispensary allegedly linked to Hells Angels associate
Search warrant claims city records list operator of East Vancouver pot shop as a gang associate
An associate of the Hells Angels is listed as the operator of an East Vancouver medical dispensary, according to a search warrant executed in a raid on the business.
The court document claims the Pitt Meadows resident, who has not been charged in association with the investigation, shows up in City of Vancouver records associated with the Limelife Society at Society at 4866 Rupert St.
'High end' vehicles
"He is a known Hells Angel associate and is 'Of Interest' in five separate gang intel files since 2010," the warrant states.
Vancouver police swore the information this week to obtain a search warrant for the business.
According to the court document, police started investigating after observing "new and high end" vehicles in the parking lot.
"I believe these vehicles to be associated to the Hells Angels based on common Hells Angels insignia," wrote Const. Brian Hobbs, the officer who swore the warrant.
According to the warrant, three of the vehicles are linked to a man who socializes with a full patch Hells Angel.
The man, who has also not been charged, allegedly told police he had nothing to do with the store. But in the warrant, police claim he is listed as a contact for one of the dispensary's accounts.
They also claim an employee who sold marijuana to an undercover officer is the girlfriend of a Hells Angel.
According to the warrant, she was allegedly arrested at Vancouver International Airport in 2012 after coming back from Mexico with three grams of marijuana.
Lack of identification
An undercover officer was allegedly able to purchase pot from the store without any identification, Health Canada authorization to possess the drug or doctor's note.
Police said they found the store, which is a short distance away from an elementary school and a park, was also selling pot to minors.
The dispensary under investigation is one of five locations associated with the Limelife Society. The owner of the society itself told CBC he has no criminal record and no ties to organized crime.
Pot shops proliferating
Police have executed search warrants at 11 medical marijuana dispensaries since the businesses started proliferating in the city.
Local politicians recently voted to regulate and license the roughly 100 medical marijuana retailers in Vancouver. The move has drawn criticism from Ottawa because of fears that organized crime is behind many of the operations.
The bylaw will charge retail dealers a $30,000 licence fee — the city's highest permit cost — and prevent shops from operating within 300 metres of community centres, schools and other pot shops.
None of the charges alleged in the search warrant has been proven in court.
One employee was arrested and released during the raid, and evidence was seized to further the investigation.
With files from Jason Proctor and Kirk Williams