Feds Arrest 12 In Alleged Pot Ring Operating in OC & LBC

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Twelve people were arrested this morning for conspiracy to distribute marijuana in a case that federal authorities claim involves a ring of pot dispensaries that operated in both Orange County and Long Beach. A 31-page indictment released by the U.S. attorneys office today claims that the shops--nine in total--were all owned by John Melvin Walker, 56, aka "Pops," who allegedly failed to report income from the shops and is also charged with being a felon in the possession of a firearm. 

Walker's name first came up in Nov. 2011, when OC Sheriffs deputies raided one of his shops in Long Beach, Belmont Shore Natural Care. According to the indictment released today, one of his employees claimed Walker had told workers that "they should shred documents related to cash intake at  Belmont Shore Natural Care at the end of the night." Although Walker wasn't arrested during that raid, deputies searched his home and found a handgun, a 12-gauge shotgun, an AK-47, and about $390,000 in cash), which explains the additional charges he faces today.

Also arrested this morning: 

*Ryan Scott Hunt, 36, of Fullerton, who managed Garden Grove Alternative Care

*Perry Brooks Forehand, also known as "Bucky," 33, of Mission Viejo, the manager of Safe Harbor Collective

*Danielle Pamela Stebel, also known as "Mob Queen," 25, of Long Beach, who helped manage Belmont Shore Natural Care

*Nicholas Martin Butier III, 32, of Lakewood, who was the manager of Alternative Herbal Health

*Sierra Marina Serhan, also known as "Hippy Chick,"  33, of Long Beach, who helped manage Belmont Shore Natural Care

*Alvin Wesley Walker, 29, of Long Beach, who is believed to be John Walker's  nephew and who helped manage Belmont Shore Natural Care

*John Eugene Scandalios, 59, of Lakewood, who allegedly supplied marijuana to  Santa Fe Compassionate Health Care

*Karen Lee Leto, 70, of Huntington Beach, who allegedly helped manage Costa Mesa Patients Association

*Craig Lawrence Leto, 49, of Newport Beach who is Karen Leto's son and who allegedly helped manage Costa Mesa Patients Association

*Michael Alan Nixon, 33, of Long Beach, who allegedly supplied marijuana to Santa Fe Compassionate Health Care

*Alan David Nixon, 59, of Long Beach, who is Michael Nixon's father and who allegedly managed Santa Fe Compassionate Health Care.

Two suspects named in the indictment are still at large:
  
*Ryan Aparicio Mondragon, 30, Westminster, who managed Santa Ana Superior Care, which was also raided previously by Orange County Sheriff's deputies, and whose manager, former L.A.P.D. officer Hank Cousine likely would have been arrested today had he not died this past July of a heart attack.

*Nicholas Einar Lattu, also known as "Dragon 6," 28, of Long Beach, who owned Shadow Ops Security, a company that provided security services to the  marijuana stores, and who is currently being sought by authorities

Not named in the indictment was Long Beach lobbyist Rick Brizendine, who represented Belmont Shore Natural Care in the city's controversial marijuana lottery process, and who was accused (but never charged) by the Sheriff's Dept. of laundering cash for Walker. Today's indictment notes that most of the nine dispensaries Walker operated have closed, although Belmont Shore Natural Care remains open.

All 12 suspects arrested today are being arraigned for conspiracy to distribute marijuana and other charges at the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.

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14 comments
rocky81
rocky81

I dont know why all these Managers were charged.

 John Melvin Walker was the one raking in millions of Dollars..

 These other people could barely pay their bills just like the rest of us.

FREE BUCKY ! FREE AL ! FREE DANIELLE !

TheRealDeal
TheRealDeal

At least one of these guys is a total dead beat who owes over $40,000 in child support yet he made a million dollars….Ryan Scott Hunt….

MMLady
MMLady

This is so scary! My boyfriend runs a dispensary in Victorville his attorney has been able to keep him open and out of trouble so far. His name is Jason Thompson and he is awesome if anyone involved in Medical Marijuana industry needs an attorney. 1-800-491-7097

corruptcouncilman
corruptcouncilman

Please see the reader comments about the arrests in the belmontshorepatch.com.  There is some proof of corruption.  the councilman in long beach took money from the walker pot shops to change the rules so that they could stay open.  the councilman is running for congress now and they keep giving him money, all so that he could change the rules so they could stay open.  he should be arrested too.  there are youtube videos that show everything.  please tell nick schou as well thanks i hope you write about this.

johnrose7588
johnrose7588

What a crock of shit. Arresting a 70week year old woman for weed. Common. Look at all the junkies in long beach and santa ana. Look at all the illegal gambling and massage parlors in westminister and garden grove. Government, stop wasting our tax paying money on tge war on weed. Seems like jobs and education take a back seat in priority thanks to the good ol boys who run our fucked up nation

URAidiot
URAidiot

Felon with a firearm and not paying taxes.  Idiot.

Art Pedroza
Art Pedroza

A drop in the marijuana bucket. Stupid feds. Don't they have anything better to do?

Don Haffke
Don Haffke

GOOD !!! Im not a hypocrite. Im for the legalization of Mary jane rotten crotch. But got dammit. I don't want to smell it eveyrtime i fucking go some where you assholes !!!!! I remember when i was 13.... Keep it out of my face !!!

timo3004
timo3004

@Don Haffke if you don't wanna smell it move the fuck outta California !!!!

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