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Police bust cannabis candy drug syndicate

One of the candies that contains cannabis is shown. (Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)

Four people are behind bars after numerous law enforcement agents worked together to bust an alleged cannabis candy drug syndicate.

According to a release, the syndicate was producing and selling candies and treats that included cannabis as an ingredient. The food items were sold on the Internet, through word-of-mouth deals and in select business in Prescott and Phoenix.

"Suckers, brownies, ice cream and other items," said Dwight D'Evelyn with the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office. "It is illegal, currently, to sell these items for profit, even to a medical marijuana cardholder."

Law enforcement discovered the syndicate after finding traces of the production of the candies in a Phoenix kitchen.

On Sept. 12 and Sept. 13, authorities served search warrants at 10 locations, both businesses and private homes, in Yavapai and Maricopa Counties. The warrants resulted in the arrests of four suspects and the seizure of over 20 pounds of marijuana, hundreds of products containing marijuana, some firearms, a few vehicles and about $70,000 in cash.

Chris Martin, one of the men arrested, was identified as the "chef" responsible for creating the contraband candies. He is facing numerous drug charges and is being held on $270,000 bail.

Two other suspects, Todd James and Christopher Goodrich, were charged with numerous drug charges and leading an organized crime operation.

The final suspect, Andrea Martin, faces two drug charges and was released on her own recognizance.

More charges and arrests are expected in the case.

The investigation was conducted by the Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking in cooperation with the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, Prescott Valley Police Department, Prescott Police Department, Chino Valley Police Department, Yavapai and Maricopa County Attorney's Office and the Phoenix Police Department.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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