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Feds Crackdown On Illegal Pot Shops In Anaheim, La Habra

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FILE PHOTO (credit: CBS)

FILE PHOTO (credit: CBS)

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) Federal authorities filed three lawsuits Tuesday against landlords of properties housing six illegal marijuana stores in Anaheim, according to spokesman Thom Mrozek from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The lawsuits target AAA Wellness Center and Anaheim Patients Association at 503 North Anaheim Boulevard, which is co-owned by a man who was previously convicted on felony drug charges.

Releaf Health & Wellness at 2601 West Ball Road and three pot outlets housed at 3148-3164 East La Palma Avenue were also named in the suit.

The asset-forfeiture complaints allege the owners of the properties knowingly allowed illegal marijuana stores to operate in their buildings.

“While these marijuana stores purport to be ‘medical marijuana dispensaries’ operating pursuant to California law, and claim to be distributing marijuana for medical purposes, such distribution is not a recognized exception to the [federal] Controlled Substances Act,” according to the lawsuits.

Officials also sent warning letters to 66 illegal pot shops in Anaheim and La Habra.

The letters give the operators and landlords 14 days to follow federal law or risk civil or criminal actions.

In October 2011, prosecutors began filing lawsuits and sending letters to marijuana operations in the Central District of California. They have now targeted nearly 300 marijuana stores.

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