In a story that reads like something straight out of a movie, a group of men have been arrested for stealing tons of weed and money in an elaborate heist. During the robbery, the men posed as law enforcement agents. Interestingly, one of the men involved in the plot was an actual deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department.
Posing As the Law to Rob a Warehouse
The incident took place last year. On October 29, a group of men acted like they were armed deputies and unexpectedly showed up at a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles. The warehouse was full of marijuana and money.
After arriving at the warehouse, the men allegedly detained three security guards. From there, they loaded a rental truck with cannabis, cash, and money orders.
According to local news sources, the men ended up taking around 1,200 pounds of marijuana. Additionally, they took $645,000 worth of cash and money orders from the warehouse.
At some point during the robbery, someone in the warehouse called the Los Angeles Police Department. However, reports indicate that one of the thieves, 41 year old Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Deputy Marc Antrim, was able to trick responding officers. Antrim managed to buy his group enough time to get away from the warehouse with their truck loaded with weed and money.
Investigations Lead to Arrests
In the aftermath of the incident, officers from the FBI, DEA, and ATF began investigating. To date, investigators and law enforcement officials have made six arrests.
The first round of arrests came shortly after the robbery, on November 8. On that date, authorities arrested Antrim along with two accomplices. The three men are reportedly facing federal drug trafficking and gun charges.
Sources report that the three men have signed plea deals. As a result, they are expected to officially enter guilty pleas sometime in the near future.
More recently, authorities made another round of arrests. Yesterday, law enforcement agents took in three more men. They are reportedly facing similar charges.
Wild West of Weed
In some ways, the elaborate robbery staged by Antrim and company appears to play on real raids that continue to occur following legalization.
Medical marijuana has been legal in California for a relatively long time. But recreational weed is a much newer reality. More specifically, retail sales of recreational cannabis went into effect on January 1, 2018.
Often, these businesses were simply operating without all necessary licenses and approvals. In other cases, businesses deemed illegal had failed to comply with all requirements for running a dispensary.
One way or another, law enforcement consistently claimed that there were large numbers of illegal marijuana businesses. And this opened the door for cops and other law enforcement agencies to conduct raids.
It’s unclear if Antrim and his co-conspirators were consciously mimicking these types of raids. Either way, 2018 was marked by an atmosphere in which such busts were a real possibility, especially for any marijuana operation that wasn’t fully licensed or in compliance with all laws.