The owner and several employees of the Humanity Dispensary have been arrested on charges ranging from conspiracy to sell marijuana to assault with a deadly weapon — a case bound to add fuel the already raging political inferno over how many medical marijuana dispensaries should be allowed to operate in the City of Santa Barbara and under what conditions.
Santa Barbara Police Department (SBPD) narcotics detectives spent months investigating the dispensary located at 715 Bond Avenue, according to a January 11 SBPD press release, which said the investigation was prompted by complaints and public comments made during City Council discussions about dispensaries, indicating that Humanity was operating in violation of the Compassionate Use Act.
An undercover officer made a purchase at the dispensary using a counterfeit medical marijuana recommendation, which was not checked or verified during the transaction, according to police. Investigators also looked into an assault with a deadly weapon case, involving two of the current dispensary employees’ alleged attack upon a former employee.
Upon being presented with the evidence, Judge Frank Ochoa authorized the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department, the Santa Barbara Regional Narcotics Enforcement Team, and the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office to search the businesses and residences of Humanity owners and employees.
In all, five residences and two businesses were searched in the cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Ynez, Lompoc, and Santa Maria. Authorities recovered 150 growing marijuana plants, as well as 63 pounds of marijuana buried in the backyard of one of the residences in Santa Ynez, $12,000 in cash, and 281 doses of unprescribed anabolic steroids.
As a result, on January 7, Humanity owner Brandon Timothy Fox, age 33, was arrested on charges of conspiracy to possess and sell marijuana. Officials froze $25,000 in bank assets, and detectives are examining financial documents to determine if the source of those funds is “illegal profiteering from Humanity Dispensary.” Timothy Newton Kurriss, also 33, and Caroline Emmanuelle Kurriss, age 29, were arrested on the same charges as Fox. Jose Juan Adame, age 35, was arrested on charges of conspiracy to possess and sell marijuana, possession of concentrated marijuana (hashish), and possession of unprescribed hydrocodone.
Raul Izaak Adame, age 33, was charged with conspiracy to possess and sell marijuana, possession of unprescribed steroids, and also assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment. Brennen Carlton Baptista, age 33, was charged with conspiracy to possess and sell marijuana, assault with a deadly weapon, and false imprisonment.
Bail in each case was set at $100,000.