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Posted: May 20, 2011 5:36 PM by Melissa Anderson (Helena)
Updated: May 21, 2011 7:56 AM
Officials from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in Billings raided and seized items from a medical marijuana caregiver in Helena on Friday afternoon.
The locks on the doors to Sleeping Giant Caregivers on Nicole Street were being changed late this afternoon.
DEA agents were seen taking boxes out of the back door of the building and placing them into a white service vehicle with Billings license plates.
Paul Schmidt, the owner of the business, was not at the location during the raid.
Jessica Fehr, Assistant U.S. Attorney for Montana, tells us this was the only Montana medical marijuana facility today in which a search warrant was executed.
No arrests were made and no charges have been filed.
(4:09 pm, May 20th) Federal law enforcement agents raided a medical marijuana facility in Helena on Friday afternoon.
The target of the raid was Sleeping Giant Caregivers at 751 Nicole Way on Helena’s east side.
Officials have not yet released details about what triggered the raid, or stated whether they removed any of the equipment or supplies from the facility.
The owner of the business, Paul Schmidt, crossed swords with the City of Helena in October 2010, asking a court to rule that he is not subject to Helena’s business code, after the City cited him for operating a medical marijuana business without a license
Schmidt was charged with a misdemeanor for attempting to possess, deliver, transfer and provide marijuana to his patients.
Schmidt is registered with the state as a caregiver and he claims he doesn’t need a business license, and at the time, he said, “What we are trying to do is make sure that patients have safe access, especially our veterans here in Helena, who we have a large amount of veterans here. It’s important when they come home from different wars, that they have access to medicine that helps them. We are basically doing this for all of our patients here in Helena, to make sure they have safe access, safe easy access here in the city limits.”
In March 2011, officials conducted raids on at least 10 marijuana facilities across Montana, in Montana Cannabis located in the old State nursery in Helena
Agencies involved in the March raids included the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and local law enforcement officers.
Here is the text of the search warrant that was executed:
ITEMS TO BE SEIZED
The following described items that are evidence of the commission of drug trafficking offenses in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841 and/or 21 U.S.C. § 846:
Controlled substances, including marijuana and hashish, as well as packaging material, plastic wrap, one gallon or other sized Ziploc bags, cutting agents, scales, duct tape, vacuum sealers and vacuum seal bags, and plastic bags.
Additionally, controlled substances contained in any edible items, including cookies, brownies, and candy.
Drug paraphernalia, including materials ofpackaging, manufacturing, cultivating, consuming, storing, concealing, cutting, weighing, possessing, and/or distributing controlled substances.
Firearms and ammunition, used in the commission of drug trafficking offenses under 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 and 846.
Books, records, receipts, notes, ledgers and other papers relating to the transportation, ordering, purchasing, trafficking, possession and/or distribution of controlled substances;
Address and/or telephone books and papers reflecting names, addresses and/or telephone numbers, addresses for, and~telephone numbers of coconspirators;
Documents and/or papers which aid in the identification and location of customers, suppliers and/or co-conspirators;
Records of drug transactions including lists ofcustomers and suppliers, lists of expenses and payments, lists of dangerous drug prices;
Books, records, receipts, bank statements and records, money drafts, letters of credit, wire transfers, money orders and/or cashier check receipts, bank checks, and other items evidencing the obtaining, secreting, transfer, trading and/or concealment of assets and/or the expenditure of money;
Proceeds of dangerous drug sales to include United States Currency, jewelry, motor vehicle titles, and financial instruments, or other items of tangible property furnished in the exchange of controlled substances in violation of Title 21 United States Code, Section(s) 841(a)(I) and 846;
Indicia ofoccupancy, residency, and/or ownership ofthe premises described in the search warrant including telephone bills and/or other receipts, canceled envelopes, keys and/or personal items or identification;
Documents which aid in the identification of and/or the current location of controlled substances and/or proceeds from drug transactions including safe deposit box records, storage unit receipts, and rental agreements.
Federal Agents, DEA, Raid Helena Dispensary, Sleeping Giant Caregivers
Story Published: May 20, 2011 at 8:00 PM MDT
Story Updated: May 20, 2011 at 8:00 PM MDT
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana director of a marijuana advocacy group says a federal raid Friday at a Helena medical pot provider is an “egregious attack on states’ rights” and “fundamental human and civil rights.
John Masterson of NORML says a recent string of raids in the state is leaving hundreds of patients without a safe, reliable supply of marijuana.
Paul Schmidt, the owner of Sleeping Giant Caregivers, was out of town Friday afternoon, but confirmed to The Associated Press that agents were at his Helena marijuana operation.
A search and seizure warrant signed Thursday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch of Missoula authorized federal agents to seize items that are “evidence of the commission of drug trafficking offenses.“
Lynch ordered the case sealed, and it’s not immediately known what was seized from the raid.
DEA Raids Local Dispensary, Sleeping Giant Caregivers
By KFBB News Team
Story Created: May 20, 2011 at 5:14 PM MDT
Story Updated: May 20, 2011 at 7:38 PM MDT
Breaking news out of Helena, the US Attorney’s Office has confirmed that a federal search warrant is being executed at Sleeping Giant Caregivers, a medical marijuana dispensary on the eastern edge of the city – located at 751 Nicole Way.
NewsChannel 5 has exclusive video as federal agents raided the sprawling location earlier this afternoon. NewsChannel 5′s Kacey Drescher says there were a couple of people who appeared to be clients sitting in what looked like a waiting room when she arrived and she saw agents grabbing marijuana plants but they quickly put black garbage bags over the door and closed all the window blinds.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Fehr in Billings confirms only that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is involved and a federal search warrant was executed. Court records show federal agents have a warrant to seize up to $1.2 million dollars from an account at Mountain West Bank that Fehr says is connected to the Sleeping Giant case.
Paul Schmidt, owner of Sleeping Giant Caregivers, is out of town but told the Associated Press he’s aware of the raid.
26 search warrants were executed in federal raids on medical marijuana operations in Montana on March 14. Fehr says there were no other federal raids taking place Friday. The Drug Enforcement Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) & Explosives as well as local law enforcement officers were involved in the March raids.
Via Facebook: DEA Raid in Progress, Sleeping Giant Caregivers in Helena Montana!!
We are told that there is at least one federal raid in progress, Sleeping Giant in Helena – More news as we receive it.
DEA RAID AT SLEEPING GIANT CAREGIVERS IN HELENA RIGHT NOW. PLEASE GO WITNESS IMMEDIATELY.
More as I get details!!!
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