Police officers and a SWAT team arrested four people operating a Gurnee CBD store, which was a front for an illegal marijuana dispensary, and seized $500,000 worth of cannabis.
The Gurnee Police Department said that they received tips from the Crime Stoppers hotline, along with several other sources, reporting suspicious drug sales and activity at a CBD store located in the 400 block of Route 21.
“The reports included the illegal sales of cannabis, employees armed with weapons, and a plot for a store robbery,” Gurnee police said in a statement.
During the investigation, Visitor Oriented Policing (VOP) detectives verified the cash-based business was selling unauthorized cannabis and THC infused products through a private room within the store.
The business, registered with the Village of Gurnee to sell CBD products and accessories, was not approved by the state or village as a licensed cannabis dispensary.
Detectives obtained a search warrant for the business. The Emergency Services Team from the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS) was requested to assist with the search warrant, which took place around 6:50 p.m. Friday.
Investigators recovered approximately $25,000 in cash and 200 pounds of cannabis product, which has an estimated retail value of over $500,000, police said.
Adrian Gonzalez, 24, of Waukegan, Juan M. Gonzalez, 39, of Waukegan, Victor M. Tapia, 34, of Waukegan, and David Vega III, 22, of Zion, were all arrested and charged with possessing and delivering more than 5,000 grams of cannabis substance.
“The alarming accusations about the inner workings of the business led to a quick response from our investigators. The VOP team carefully investigated this case and stopped a potential threat of violence and what could have been a dangerous situation,” Gurnee Police Chief Brian Smith said.
“We are grateful for the support given to us by NIPAS to ensure the operation went smoothly,” Smith added.
Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik was pleased with the response taken by police and added, “I am proud of the swift and decisive action by the Gurnee Police Department to shut down this brazen criminal operation.”
All four suspects were charged with a Class X felony which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 6-30 years in prison.