A phony medical marijuana business is shut down Tuesday with five people arrested. And the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is calling it one of the largest of its kind in Arizona. Sheriff Joe Arpaio says a law enforcement task force executed warrants on the Phoenix warehouse at 40th

Street and East Washington. He says, investigators found the operation was running a “caregiver”scheme. But the big omission is that no state oversight could be found, such as background checks for employees, dispensary fees or cards, or taxes. Arpaio says, it all boils down to an illicit business making millions of dollars as a fake medical marijuana dispensary.

The warehouse stored an estimated 600 to 1,000 marijuana plants; the value of the lower quantity alone would’ve been slightly more than seven million dollars. Additionally, the hashish production of this size operation could yield an excess of three million bucks over a two year period. The raid at the suspect’s homes in Scottsdale, Phoenix and Fountain Hills seized guns, marijuana, multiple pounds of hash and $100,000 in cash.

The primary suspects are identified as 57 year old Perry Lee Hestor and his 35-year old son, Brandon. As of Tuesday evening, at least 20 more suspects were still being sought.

The investigation is still ongoing.

–Barbara Villa

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