Modesto police said they closed down an illegal marijuana dispensary close to Coffee Road businesess serving children.
The investigation started after police got an email about a June 28 armed robbery at the pot shop that had not been reported, a news release said. It came from a person concerned that the robber wielded a gun and employees yelled expletives while children attended a jiu-jitsu class next door, police said.
The Modesto Narcotics Enforcement made a purchase at the dispensary, which was at 1501 Coffee Road and disguised as a bicycle shop, police said. That led to the July 5 arrest of owner Paulo Canto, 41, after a traffic stop that yielded more than 10 pounds of marijuana, edible products and waxes, the release said. He was in the process of moving the business to McHenry Avenue, police said.
California voters have legalized recreational marijuana as of the start of 2018, but the Modesto City Council has not decided whether to allow businesses here. Medicinal pot has been legal since 1996, under local rules.
Police said the dispensary also was close to a dance studio and restaurant, where people could smell pot being smoked.
“There is still a criminal component involving the sales of marijuana, and this is an example of the violence it can bring,” Investigation Services Lt. Terry Seese said in the release.
Bee staff writer Erin Tracy contributed to this report.
John Holland: 209-578-2385