Marijuana business in Tempe raided by police

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by Marcy McMacken

azfamily.com

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 29 at 9:32 PM

Map: AzGoGreen Medical Marijuana Dispensary

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Map: Top Shelf Hydro College

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Officers from the Tempe Police Dept. raided a marijuana business Tuesday and arrested the owner.

Police served a total of six search warrants in connection with the investigation which began in Oct. 2012. That is when the Tempe Police Special Investigations Bureau began investigating the business which at that time was called AZ Go Green and was located at 426 E. Southern Ave.

It was also the location of a shooting in Oct. 2012.

Police said they had received several complaints from concerned residents and businesses in the area.

The business was renamed Top Shelf Hydro College and relocated to a spot near Curry Rd. and McClintock Dr.

Police said Top Shelf Hydro College was calling itself a "Compassion Club" and disguising itself as medical marijuana business.

According to a spokesman for the Tempe Police Dept., as part of the investigation undercover detectives began purchasing quantities of marijuana at Top shelf Hydro College. Such sales are a violation of the new medical marijuana laws.

During a raid of the business on Tuesday, police said they found large amounts of individually wrapped marijuana bundles and marijuana plants being grown.

Police said they also found two Tempe homes that were being used as marijuana grow houses. According to investigators, the plants at those homes were supplying the marijuana that was being sold at the Top Shelf Hydro College. In total there were over 120 plants located and seized as evidence.

During the investigation police also seized large amounts of cash, two assault rifles, one shotgun and three handguns.

The owner of the business was identified as James Earl Chaney. He was arrested at his home in Phoenix and is now in custody.

Police said they are working with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office on this continuing investigation and there could be more arrests.

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