Crime & Justice

Santa Ana cops charged with stealing snacks during pot shop raid

A screenshot of the Voice of OC's video of the police raid at Sky High Holistic pot shop on May, 26 2015.
A screenshot of the Voice of OC's video of the police raid at Sky High Holistic pot shop on May, 26 2015.
VoiceofOCvideo (via YouTube)

Orange County prosecutors on Monday charged three Santa Ana police officers with stealing from and vandalizing a medical marijuana dispensary during a raid last year.

Brandon Sontag, Nicole Quijas and Jorge Arroyo are all charged with stealing granola bars and cookies from Sky High Holistic's break room, said Roxi Fyad, a district attorney spokeswoman. Sontag is also charged with vandalizing five of the store's surveillance cameras, according to a press release

"They were just cookies and protein bars that are sold at any store,” Fyad told KPCC.

The police raid occurred on May 26 under a search warrant alleging that the shop did not have the proper permits to sell medical marijuana.

At the time, Sky High Holistic filed a lawsuit saying that the police used excessive force and caused more than $100,000 worth of damage. The Voice of OC released a video of the raid, edited by the shop's attorneys.

(WARNING: The video includes language that may be offensive to some.)

Watch the raid

There was a question about whether the officers ate or took marijuana edibles, but Fyad said there was insufficient or no evidence to prove they had. She said the charges were brought after the district attorney's office reviewed more than 16 hours of unedited video surveillance.

"We filed what we felt we could prove beyond a reasonable doubt," Fyad said.

If convicted, Quijas and Arroyo face up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000. Sontag faces six months to a year in jail and a fine of $2,000, Fyad said.

The officers are set to be arraigned on April 11 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

KPCC has reached out to the Santa Ana Police Department for comment.