Search warrant affidavit details sweeping DEA raid of GAME Collective facilities, homes and vehicles
While the GAME Collective medical marijuana lounge in White Center was the visible part of yesterday’s DEA raid at the local level, the U.S. Attorney search warrant affidavit unsealed reveals a sweeping raid of three total GAME collectives, the owner’s home and the vehicles of GAME employees and co-owners.
The warrant names five individuals suspected of allegedly “using a purported medical marijuana dispensary to commit the crimes of Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana, Distribution of Marijuana, and Unlawful Possession With Intent to Distribute Marijuana” in violation of federal law.
Put into broader context, the warrant states, “Any state law that purports to make the distribution of marijuana legal, for any purpose, does not provide a defense to federal law. However, our investigation is not currently targeting medical marijuana providers that comply with the letter and the spirit of existing state law.”
According to court documents, DEA special agents initiated their investigation of GAME on July 27, 2011 – utilizing undercover officers, a confidential informant (CI) and surveillance to make controlled purchases of marijuana.
Here are some highlights from the search warrant (a full story including reactions from the GAME Collective owner will be posted later today):
-Investigators learned information about the GAME Collective operation through a Mary Jane Magazine video interview and a West Seattle Herald story titled, “West Seattle’s own medical marijuana outlet tailors to a thriving market.” http://www.westseattleherald.com/2011/01/06/news/slideshow-west-seattle%...
-On July 28 agents started surveillance on the West Seattle GAME Collective and documented 13 people “in their twenties to mid-thirties” enter the game collective exhibiting no signs of suffering from illnesses including cancer, AIDS or multiple sclerosis. Employees were seen leaving the premises with large bags and patients were seen leaving with small paper bags.
-Through July, August and September undercover agents and a CI visited the White Center and West Seattle GAME Collectives on several occasions, showed medical marijuana authorization at the door and purchased marijuana. At the White Center location, customers were seen smoking marijuana inside and on a few occasions drinking beer. Agents were told they could not purchase beer but could bring their own.