On May 6, a joint statement It was released stating that both Imperial and the Mayor’s Department of San Bernardino County in Southern California “understand that [was] Acting in good faith when making stops and reaching an understanding will enable both sides to move forward amicably.”
Sheriff’s Deputies Shannon Decos stopped the Imperial pickup trucks in November, December and January, seizing a total of $1.1 million in legal cannabis sales. US Department of Justice equitable sharing program The mayor’s oath is allowed to keep up to 80% of funds collected through civil forfeiture. Although California prohibits law enforcement from seizing legal cannabis funds, Dicus transferred the confiscated funds to the FBI, claiming they were evidence in an ongoing investigation. The federal government has since approved 100% refund of reserved moneyalthough the lawsuit against Dicus continued until recently.
to me San Bernardino Sun, Decos believed that the seizure conducted by his administration was legitimate. On November 16, the Imperial, a Ford truck, was driving six feet behind a semi-truck while towing a trailer. “During the stop, the attorney made additional remarks, including hearing inconsistent statements made by the driver and company representatives, which led the attorney to believe that the truck’s contents were illicit proceeds from the sale of illegal drugs,” Decos said of the incident. Based on those, Representative J. Franco obtained a search warrant for the investigation, seizing $700,000 collected from four state-licensed cannabis companies.
A similar accident occurred on December 9 with the same Imperial Ford truck, which was changing lanes without signals. There was also a document instructing the driver how to respond to law enforcement if they were stopped. Specifically, the document instructed the driver to “never say the words cannabis or marijuana” and “not to mention the names of the banks or customers we serve.” On that date, the truck was carrying $350,000. The Empyreal truck was pulled for the third time on 6 January, but she was only carrying rolled coins that didn’t belong to the cannabis industry.
Imperial launched a lawsuit on January 14 with a US District Court, asking Sheriff Shannon Decos, as well as FBI Director Christopher Wray and DEA official Ann Milgram to stop targeting Imperial, claiming that the seizure of the company’s legitimate sales was “highway robbery. At the time, Decos believed the lawsuit was nothing more than “a crusade for special interests and a blatant attempt to interfere with the ongoing domestic criminal investigation.”
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department addressed that description May 6, noting that while the department will continue to work against “the growth of illegal marijuana and criminal enterprises,” Empyreal was not included in those efforts. The ministry wrote in the newspaper press release On May 6.
Empyreal hired Injustice for justice, a non-profit law firm that specializes in defending the cases of victims of civil forfeiture to lead the case. According to a press release from senior attorney Dan Alban, this is a welcome win for the company and Empyreal. “We are pleased to have helped Empyreal achieve a successful outcome and return to business operations in San Bernardino County,” Alban said. “We will continue to challenge the use of civil forfeiture nationally at the state and federal levels.”
Empyreal CEO Deirdra O’Gorman also released a statement, saying he was pleased that his company and the mayor’s department were able to come to an agreement on the matter. “Imperial, our financial institution clients, and their state-licensed clients for cannabis operate within the law, which is why we chose to file a legal challenge to the seizures in San Bernardino County,” O’Gorman said. “Now that the money has been returned and after meeting with Sheriff, we are confident that we can continue to serve government law firms without any disruptions going forward.”