Thirty-nine suspected drug dealers are in custody, including 11 who worked in so-called compassion clubs that illegally sell marijuana, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.
Sheriff's investigators also seized drugs, weapons and cash following three separate but related investigations dubbed "Operation Lucky Charm."
The crackdown that began March 3 targeted street level drug dealers selling in skate parks, high crime neighborhoods and known drug trafficking areas throughout the Phoenix area.
Detectives seized 1,000 pounds of marijuana with a street value in excess of $700,000, almost 30 pounds of hydroponic high-grade marijuana valued at $185,000 and several weapons, including automatic handguns and a high-powered rifle.
Nearly $230,000 in cash, one house in Mesa and eight vehicles were also seized.
Detectives found and confiscated an ATM machine which contained marijuana. Several baked goods containing marijuana-like brownies and cookies were also hauled off.
MCSO provided a breakdown on the businesses targeted.
On Thursday, detectives served five search warrants as part of the ongoing investigation into the illegal medical marijuana dispensary known as "The Care Station" located at 2444 East Thomas Rd. in Phoenix, MCSO said.
On March 4, sheriff's authorities determined that "The Kind Collective" at 15820 North 35th Ave. in Phoenix was operating as a medical marijuana dispensary with no license, according to the Department of Health Services.
On March 3, detectives completed an investigation of a Phoenix compassion club called "The Underground" at 4215 North 16th St. in Phoenix by serving two search warrants simultaneously on the business and the primary suspect's residence in Chandler.
All suspects have been booked into 4th Avenue Jail on various felony drug and money laundering charges.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said investigators also found two large grow houses in Laveen and one in Phoenix.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Thursday, August 21 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-08-21 05:54:23 GMT
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