Two San Jacinto men, including a city councilmember, indicted by grand jury for operating illegal cannabis dispensary

RIVERSIDE – A Riverside County criminal grand jury indictment was unsealed today, June 18, 2021, charging two San Jacinto men with four counts involving the operation of an illegal cannabis dispensary.

Joel Lopez, 35, and Edward Padilla, Jr,, 32, have each been charged in the indictment with one felony count of (Penal Code section 182/Health and Safety Code section 11359) conspiracy to commit misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance for sale, one felony count of (Health and Safety Code section 11366) maintaining a place for the purpose of unlawfully selling or giving away a controlled substance, one misdemeanor count of (Revenue and Taxation Code section 6071) operating without a seller’s permit by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, and one misdemeanor count of (Revenue and Taxation Code section 6452) failure to file a sales and use tax return.

Illegal Cannabis Dispensary Snags City Councilor

Joel Lopez

Lopez is currently a councilmember in the City of San Jacinto.

Padilla was arrested at a location in Santa Ana on June 15, 2021. He is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. His arraignment today was continued to June 22 in Dept. 64 at the Hall of Justice in Riverside.

Lopez was arrested on June 10, 2021, posted bail, and was released that same day. He is scheduled to be arraigned in October.

Among the overt acts alleged the indictment are:

  • That both defendants hired individuals to work for an unlicensed illegal cannabis dispensary called “Santa Fe Co-Op,” “Santa Fe Collective”, or “Santa Fe.”.
  • That both defendants placed cannabis and/or THC products for sale in display cases inside 1190 S. San Jacinto Ave., in San Jacinto.
  • That both defendants, and others, sold cannabis and/or THC products from that same address to members of the public.
  • That both defendants sold cannabis and/or THC products to the public through a delivery service.
  • That Lopez received the proceeds from the illegal sale of cannabis.

The case, BAF2101021, is being prosecuted by Deputy DAs Lauren Dossey and Francisco Navarro of the DA’s
Public Protection Unit.

Image Sources

  • Joel Lopez: City of San Jacinto
  • Dispensary: Shutterstock