Best Buds owner disappointed to see employees charged, contrary to police chief's words
Police say charges laid because of continued illegal activity, following Wednesday night searches
Three employees of Best Buds Society are facing trafficking charges, a fact that owner Patrick Warnecke said went against the assurances of Regina's police chief.
"He's saying one thing and doing another," said Warnecke. "That gets to be a very dangerous game if you're a police chief."
Chief Evan Bray had spoken to reporters on Thursday, the day after police raided six marijuana dispensaries, and said that he had been clear on who would be facing charges for operating illegal dispensaries.
"Number one, we will not be charging customers. That has never been our focus, that will not be our focus. We also don't plan on charging anyone who is working as an employee. That is not the focus of it," he said of the raids.
Charges would be pressed against owners and operators, and potentially landlords depending on their knowledge of activities taking place at the stores, he told reporters.
He broke his word less than 12 hours after he announced them.- Best Buds Society owner Patrick Warnecke
Police later confirmed that three employees would be facing trafficking charges, saying they expected to lay more charges.
"He broke his word less than 12 hours after he announced them," Warnecke said.
He said he was not allowed to get in touch with his employees, and that they in turn were not allowed to have contact with him or the store.
Regina Police Service spokesperson Elizabeth Popowich confirmed that three men were charged with drug trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime on Thursday evening.
However, she said the chief's remarks about not charging customers or employees were made in relation to the searches of marijuana dispensaries from the night before.
"He could not have known the owner of one business would ask his employees to continue the alleged offences by re-opening the business," she said in a statement.
The three employees were charged because of the continued illegal activity, she said, and will appear in court on May 9.