Oct 052011

A father and his son – owners of two Fresno-area marijuana collectives raided in June – were arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of continuing to possess and distribute pot, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Mark Stephen Bagdasarian, 53, and Ryan Christopher Bagdasarian, 24, owners of Buds 4 Life and Buds 4 Life North, were taken into custody around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, about the same time search warrants were served at the elder Bagdasarian’s Clovis home and their collectives in Tarpey Village and Friant.

Law-enforcement officers seized processed marijuana, food products believed to contain marijuana and firearms at the three locations, said Casey McEnry, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration special agent.

The two men face charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, Eddie Jimenez reports in the Fresno Bee.

They are scheduled to appear in Fresno’s federal court Wednesday.

Fresno police and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department were among the agencies that assisted the DEA in Tuesday’s arrests and searches.

Buds 4 Life North at 16906 N. Friant Road in Friant has been reopened since at least August, the federal complaint said. The federal investigation also found that Buds 4 Life at 3705 N. Clovis Ave. in Fresno reopened Friday.

The two Buds 4 Life collectives were among five dispensaries raided June 1 under state warrants and alleged to be profiting from marijuana sales, which law-enforcement authorities said is illegal under state law.

The three other raided dispensaries also appear to be back in business.

On Tuesday afternoon, people answering phone calls at Garden Ablaze and EarthSource – two other Tarpey Village collectives – said they were open.

A phone recording for Cafe 215 Collective, also in Tarpey Village, gave the dispensary’s hours of operation.

DEA special agent McEnry said that an investigation is ongoing.

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