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California police charged with stealing snacks during marijuana dispensary raid

California Police - Copy

Three Santa Ana police officers were charged with stealing protein bars and cookies from a medical marijuana dispensary during a 2015 raid, prosecutors said Monday.

Brandon Matthew Sontag, 31, Nicole Lynn Quijas, 37, and Jorge Arroyo, 32, were all charged with one misdemeanor count of theft for their roles in the May 2015 search at Sky High Holistic on 17th Street in Santa Ana, according to a news release issued by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Sontag was also charged with vandalism in connection with the smashing of five security cameras inside the facility, prosecutors said.

The dispensary previously filed a federal lawsuit accusing the officers of using excessive force during the raid last year. A video of the incident released last year showed officers apparently entering the dispensary, playing darts and eating snack food that belonged to the staff, which was under investigation for possibly operating without a license.

Calls to the Santa Ana Police Department seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Prosecutors said the officers did not eat any edible marijuana items during the raid, though they did take a number of snacks that belonged to the staff, including Detour Simple protein bars and Mrs. Thinster cookies.

Sontag is accused of destroying or damaging at least five surveillance cameras by smashing them into a display case or cash register, prosecutors said.

The officers’ actions, however, were recorded by four hidden surveillance cameras that were not discovered during the raid.

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