A popular medical-marijuana club that hosted regular "Farmer's Markets" was raided by a Glendale SWAT team on Wednesday, resulting in nine arrests at five different locations.
Tactical units served search warrants at "locations spanning Glendale, Phoenix and Buckeye," according to a Glendale police news release, and 20 other people could be charged in connection with the business.
The 7Ten Club advertises with a slick website and frequently updated Facebook page, billing itself as "Arizona's Premier Medical Marijuana Club." Photos on the Facebook site show how the club renovated office space, then hosted farmer's markets where cannabis, edible marijuana products and concentrates like "shatter" were sold, ostensibly to card-holding patients.
Police arrested six vendors and three men called the "proprietors of the business," Scott Malcolm Westlake, 43, of Tonopah; Gregg Patrick Levendoski, 53, of St. Johns; and Joe George Flores Jr., 42, of Phoenix. Police want them charged with illegal control of enterprise, among other things.
Marijuana Deals Near You
"Approximately four weeks ago, the Glendale Police Department received complaints of suspicious activity related to the 7Ten Club at 5118 W. Camelback Road. The club has been hosting “Farmers’ Markets” twice a week," states the department's news release. "Detectives conducted both surveillance and undercover operations that included 18 illegal marijuana transactions, during which they purchased marijuana from vendors. These activities were held under the guise of our current medical marijuana laws, but were nowhere within the boundaries of those laws and regulations."
Tonight, New Times talked to one of the vendors who says he was at the club when police served a warrant there.
"I was sitting at my table, vending," says the local medical-marijuana patient and seller, whose name we agree to withhold for this article. He admits he had on his table "over a pound of flower and two ounces of shatter."
Police didn't take him into custody, but took his information — and his weed — and told him he'd be hearing from the county attorney's office for probable criminal charges. The vendor doesn't believe it.
"I think they just came in stole our weed," he says. Asked what they would do with it, he laughs and admits "I have my own conspiracy theories."
Police let the vendors keep any edible marijuana products they had, and seemed to let people at "four or five tables" leave without any hassle because they "had nothing but edibles," says our source.
Anyone who came into the club was required to show a state-issued medical-marijuana card, he says. Officers involved in the raid told people there that they had obtained videos of them selling marijuana. "It sounds like entrapment to me," the vendor says.
Still, the vendor admits he was over the 2.5-ounce statutory limit for a patient.
"That was my bad," he says, adding that he'll accept whatever consequences come.
A 7Ten Club Facebook post from May 5 states that Levendoski's no longer part of the club: "The 7ten Club has new partners. Gregg is taking some time away to focus on his health and peacefulness. He has sold his share to our friends Scott & Becky. We wish Gregg the best always and we welcome Scott and Becky to the 7ten family."
Glendale police say the seized items included meth and guns: "In total fifty pounds of high-grade marijuana, numerous items of hash oil and a quantity of methamphetamine were recovered. Also seized were thirteen firearms and U.S. currency. A residence in Glendale had the equipment necessary to operate a hash-oil extraction lab. These labs have led to explosions that cause large amounts of property damage and serious injuries."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern
Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX
Follow Ray Stern on Twitter at @RayStern