County and local police have raided an underground cannabis dispensary in Garfield in Bergen County and arrested its workers.
The raid happened last week but was announced yesterday. It was coordinated between Bergen County, Garfield, and South Hackensack, which means it was being planned for some time.
It does not appear the State of New Jersey was involved in this raid.
The police confiscated a “substantial amount of marijuana, THC edibles, THC wax/oil, and approximately $15,000,” Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said.
They had been selling cannabis openly at a place called THC Jarz at 517 River Road in Garfield.
The official owner, Jaime Costanzo, and her husband who also worked there, Michael Delmoral, were arrested after undercover police bought cannabis at their underground cannabis dispensary.
After raiding the underground cannabis dispensary, police searched the home of Costanzo and Delmoral and found another pound of cannabis.
Costanzo and a cashier named Vicent Scarpulla were charged with maintaining a drug production facility and money laundering. Delmoral and a second cashier, Richard Walenty, were charged with illegal marijuana possession with the intent to distribute according to Musella.
“Despite the recent changes to New Jersey’s marijuana laws, the unregulated sale of marijuana and THC products remains illegal,” Musella said. “We encourage the public to be mindful of the law.”
The accused were arrested and sent to Bergen County jail. They were released the next day.
Underground Cannabis Dispensary Issues
This was not the first time an underground cannabis dispensary operating openly has been raided this year. Earlier this year, in May, West Winds was raided in Gloucester City in Camden County.
In addition, the underground cannabis dispensary Moe Weed in Trenton was raided in April.
Despite this, Ed “NJ Weedman” Forchion has continued to operate his Joint across from Trenton City Hall openly, likely due to his friendship with Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, a longtime proponent of legalization.
He has operated for some time in defiance of the law on the belief that since legalization is so widely supported, a jury of 12 would not vote to convict him unanimously.