SDPD Uncovers Illegal Marijuana Farmers Market
By Ana Gomez Salcido
For the past several months the SDPD Narcotics Unit has been investigating complaints of marijuana “farmer’s markets” that have been taking place in various temporary locations throughout the City of San Diego.
During this investigation it was discovered that an individual, 24-year-old Ramin Moghadam, was responsible for organizing and holding these events under the business name Ganja Galaxy. The events have been held at two different locations including a location in Ocean Beach and Queen Bee’s Art and Cultural Center, located at 3925 Ohio Street in North Park.
During these events, multiple vendors set up tables and sold marijuana and marijuana products in violation of both city and state laws. These events were attended by hundreds of customers during which illegal sales and illegal use occurred, negatively impacting the surrounding businesses and neighborhoods.
On Jan. 24, at approximately 4:30 p.m., the San Diego Police Department’s Narcotics Unit served a search warrant at a farmer’s market event organized by Moghadam at Queen Bee’s. The warrant was purposefully served before opening so that only illegal vendors, and no customers, were present. During the service of the warrant approximately 30 vendor tables were found set up inside, each with large amounts of marijuana, marijuana edibles, and marijuana concentrates for sale.
In addition, 47 individuals, who were working at the vendor booths, were detained inside. Three firearms were found concealed within the venue at Queen Bee’s, as well as, two additional firearms in vehicles outside Queen Bee’s.
At the same time, a second search warrant was served at the Moghadam’s house in Carlsbad. Four firearms along with a substantial amount of cash were found during the search.
In total, approximately 90 pounds of high-grade marijuana, 6,000 marijuana edibles and concentrates, nine firearms, approximately $100,000 in cash, and business records were seized from both locations.
Moghadam was arrested at Queen Bee’s and booked into jail. A second suspect, 25-year-old Anthony Shaba, was also arrested. Shaba had previously been arrested for operating an illegal marijuana dispensary. The additional 45 vendors were all issued citations and released.
The main charges were for possession of marijuana for sale and operating a business without a permit.
The SDPD Narcotics Unit, in partnership with the City Attorney’s office, will continue to investigate all illegal marijuana businesses operating within the City of San Diego. All owners and employees found operating these illegal businesses will be arrested and prosecuted.