MCSO: Arizona Medical Massage parlor raided for selling marijuana without a license

AVONDALE - For the second time in weeks, another Valley business has been forced to shut down for selling marijuana without a license.

Peoria police served a search warrant Dec. 31 at the owner's residence and business of Pure Essentials.

The business was leased as a weight loss and wellness facility. But through surveillance and undercover work, detectives say the business was illegally selling marijuana.

On Thursday night, Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies raided Arizona Medical Massage located near Dysart Road and Van Buren Street.

Deputies said there were licensed massage therapists working there, but what they were doing behind the scenes was illegal.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said when he saw that a 60-minute massage only cost $39, he knew something was off.

"Come on where do you get a massage for $39 bucks? They made their money from selling the marijuana," said Arpaio.

Deputies said some customers would come in to the business to receive massages, but were buying marijuana instead.

The business was a "front," the Sheriff said, for selling high potent and expensive marijuana, most likely from California.

Authorities said the business owners would write down on a calendar how much money they made every day. In three days, they recorded $7,500.

Undercover investigators made at least six purchases at the store before the bust.

Inside, they found nearly nine pounds of pot of different varieties stored in glass jars. They also found $4,000 in cash.

Deputies said the business is accused of running a dispensary that is not licensed through the state.

Abraham Vasquez cuts hair at A-Town barber shop.

He's only worked there a month, but had no idea about the illegal activity three doors down.

"Now that I know it was illegal man you know, stay outta that trouble now, it won't affect us anymore, so it'll be good man."

Five people were arrested including two employees.

One woman is also facing possible animal cruelty charges for giving her Chihuahua puppy some pot to calm it down.



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