How The Police Tried To Steal Millions In Cash From Legal Cannabis Companies

By Terry Hacienda, The Fresh Toast on

Published in Cannabis Daily

By January 6th, the date of the third seizure, Empyreal had paused their transportation of cannabis money in San Bernardino County because of the previous heists. Instead, they were transporting rolled coins that were not from the cannabis industry.

Again, they didn’t issue citations, but the Empyreal driver questioned the deputy why their cars were always being targeted, the deputy merely said that it was political and didn’t elaborate. Empyreal Strikes Back On January 14th, 2022, Empyreal filed a lawsuit with the US District Court which demanded that Sheriff Dicus, as well as DEA Administrator Anne Milgram and FBI Director Christopher Wray, stop the targeting of the Empyreal vans. They stated that the seizures were “highway robbery”.  Dicus thought that the lawsuit was “no more than a special-interest crusade and a blatant attempt to interfere with ongoing local criminal investigations.”

According to Empyreal, “the deputies had planned the stop in advance and would have pulled over the driver and the Empyreal vehicles regardless of how carefully or lawfully it was driven.” After all, it has become clear that they were only after the money and trying to get away with their dirty scam. The deputies alleged that a drug-sniffing dog turned them on to the van, though Empyreal denies this: “Video footage from the vehicle does not show the dog alert on the vehicle. Instead, it shows the dog is barely interested in the vehicle.”

However, the Empyreal van did have a security audio system recording. It could be heard that the deputies were expressing excitement about the $700,000 they seized and were thus disappointed about the smaller size the second time around.

Injustice for Justice, a non-profit law firm specializing in cases that arose from civil forfeiture, was hired by Empyreal. “We are pleased to have helped Empyreal achieve a successful result and return to business operations in San Bernardino County,” says Senior Attorney Dan Alban. “We will continue to challenge the use of civil forfeiture nationwide at the state and federal level,” he says.


Because of this, Dicus changed his stance. On May 6th, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department responded, saying that they will continue working against “illegal marijuana grows and criminal enterprises,” while keeping Empyreal out of the picture. “Both sides also acknowledge that Empyreal is part of the solution to help with financial transparency and that San Bernardino Deputies are not highway robbers as previously reported in the media,” says a press release by the Sheriff’s Department. Conclusion Sheriff Dicus is a prime example of what can go wrong when the police force does not watch what happens to the cops. Don’t allow your cops to treat you like shit the way he did.

This article originally appeared on and has been reposted with permission.

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