California city councilman charged with operating illegal pot shop

June 21, 2021

A grand jury in Riverside County has indicted a Southern California city councilman for operating an illegal marijuana dispensary. [LA Times]

The indictment, which was unsealed on Friday, alleges San Jacinto Councilman Joel Lopez, 35, and 32-year-old Edward Padilla Jr. hired personnel to work for an unlicensed marijuana dispensary called “Santa Fe Co-op,” “Santa Fe Collective” or “Santa Fe.” Lopez and Padilla allegedly sold cannabis products to the public through a delivery service.

Lopez and Padilla are each charged with one felony count of conspiracy to commit possession of cannabis for sale, one felony county of maintaining a place in San Jacinto for the purpose of unlawfully selling cannabis, one misdemeanor count of operating without a seller’s permit and one misdemeanor count of failing to file tax returns. The crimes allegedly occurred between April 2019 and Feb. 2020.

Authorities arrested Lopez on June 10, and then released him after he posted bail. Lopez is scheduled to be arraigned in October.

Officers arrested Padilla in Santa Ana on June 8. Padilla was being held with his bail set at $100,000 and is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.


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Michael A.

Don’t blink. That weirdo politician from San Francisco, Scott Wiener, has a bill to legalize hallucinogens’ in California.


Just one of the thousands of reason this whole scam to legalize is nothing but very costly debacle. The foolishness of it all is incredibly ignorant. Another way politicians can fatten their wallets. Create a major problem, then put it on the tax payers to fund all the problems their foolishness and ignorance created. No brains, no headaches.


Councilman Lopez should have watched and read more news ….He would have learned from the 2 ex Stockton area council folks .. Who are rolling in green and greenbacks ..both voted for Mary Jane stores , passed the rules…then quit their jobs as council folks and opened their own weed businesses


He would make great fertilizer for the MJ


If you look close enough in SLO county, I have no doubt you’d find the same. How many local politicians are on the payroll of scumbag drug lord Helios Dayspring?

Jorge Estrada

By the time one termite has been spotted there are many others.