A botched law enforcement operation in Oklahoma cost a state-licensed cannabis cultivator millions of dollars, KFOR reports. The Special Operations Team of District 23 last week raided Earth Research Labs’ McLoud facility after receiving information from another law enforcement agency.
Earth Labs’ property manager described the officers in SWAT formation, pointing guns, and destroying plants.
Mark Woodward, of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, told KFOR that the company’s license did not show up on an “initial check” but was found during a subsequent search in their “old system” the day after the raid.
Pottawatomie County District Attorney Alan Grubb said the Special Operations Team believed the information they received from the other, unnamed, law enforcement agency “in good faith to be accurate and correct after several checks.”
Earth Research Labs CEO, Rodney Topkov believes the damages to his business could be as much as $10 million—a figure disputed by Grubb.
Donald Gies, founding and managing attorney at Gies Law Firm, which is representing Topkov and Earth Labs, called the action “a pretty incredible mistake.”
“Whether it’s a computer glitch or a non-communication to the correct agency,” he said in the report. “Either way, we do know that I have a client that is out millions and millions of dollars and we need to know who’s gonna be held accountable.”
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