Cops Could Face Jail Time for Stealing Non-Pot Cookies At Dispensary
Three police officers who last year raided a pot shop and indulged in some on-duty, on-camera snacking on treats of yet unknown provenance have been charged with theft, the Orange County District Attorney announced Monday.
According to the DA statement, Santa Ana Police officers Brandon Matthew Sontag, 31, Nicole Lynn Quijas, 37, and Jorge Arroyo, 32, were charged with one misdemeanor count of petty theft for eating and stealing protein bars and cookies from the Sky High Holistic marijuana dispensary in Santa Ana during a May 26, 2015 raid on the shop. To be precise, they were allegedly Detour Simple protein bars and Mrs. Thinsters cookies.
Sontag was charged with an additional misdemeanor count of vandalism under $400 for smashing five surveillance cameras.
However, prosecutors maintained there was "no evidence that any SAPD personnel consumed any edible marijuana items available at the dispensary," nor that they knew "the food items belonged to the dispensary and not their fellow officers," because cops just carry around cookies along with their battering rams, apparently.
Video of the raid was captured on four hidden cameras that were not disabled. It shows several officers with guns drawn enter the dispensary after the one with battering ram (and ladyfingers, maybe) slams the front doors from the outside. They brusquely yell at the dispensary patrons to get on the ground, a marked difference from when an officer is later heard commenting on how good some chocolate bars he found in a locked safe looked. Others partake in the booty, one says he feels light-headed, and then then play darts. I believe they call that "synergy."
Quijas can be heard saying at one point, "I wanted to kick her in her f*****g nub," possibly referring to dispensary employee Marla James, a wheelchair-bound amputee escorted out by Quijas.
If convicted, Arroyo and Quijas face a maximum jail sentence of six months and a $1,000 fine; Sontag faces 18 months in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Imagining the prospect of a cop's life in jail is a cliché, but it's difficult to say whether it would be easier or more difficult to do hard time for stealing health-conscious cookies under the color of law when you were just feeling a tad peckish.