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Owner of 6 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Arrested

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A protester who identified himself as 'Farmer Dave' holds a sign protesting Drug Enforcement Agency raids on medical marijuana clinics in Los Angeles Tuesday, May 27, 2008. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Yesterday, Drug Enforcement Agents arrested Virgil Grant, 41, who owns six medical marijuana dispensaries around Los Angeles, after an incident that allegedly involved product from one of his stores, reports the LA Times.

The accident that prompted authorities to begin investigating Grant occurred after CHP Officer Anthony Pedeferri had just pulled over Andreas Parra, a 20-year-old motorist from Phoenix, during a routine traffic stop. Pedeferri had dismounted his motorcycle and was talking to Parra when [suspect Jeremy] White's pickup drifted out of the northbound lanes of the 101 Freeway near Ventura and careened into Parra's SUV. Parra was killed.

Pedeferri, a triathlete and the father of two girls, was knocked out of his boots and thrown 20 yards into brush along the side of the road, according to news reports. He was left paralyzed by his injuries.

White's blood was tested and a forensics lab supervisor said White had the highest levels of marijuana concentration he'd ever seen.
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DEA agents conducted stings at each of Grant's stores, which included purchasing "a pound of marijuana for $5,700 out of the back door of the facility." Grant is charged with drug conspiracy, money laundering and operating a drug-involved premises within 1,000 feet of a school and his wife was also charged with drug conspiracy and 22 counts of money laundering.

In late July, the Los Angeles City Council disapproved of the DEA's actions of raiding medical marijuana storefronts while placing a moratorium on new facilities so rules could be drafted to better regulate them. However, city attorneys say Grant misled the type of operation on his business license, which has also expired.