Peoria police arrest 5 after busting illegal medical marijuana dispensary

Joshua Hernandez

Credit: Peoria Police Department

Top row from left: Joshua Hernandez, Kristina Tangolics and Robert Tangolics
Bottom row: Angela Maness and Andrew Knight


by Jennifer Thomas

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 2:00 PM

PEORIA, Ariz. – Peoria police arrested five people after a business was found to be operating as an illegal medical marijuana dispensary.

On Dec. 31, detectives served a search warrant at the owner’s residence and business of Pure Essentials, located in the 7000 block of Deer Valley Road.

The business was leased as a weight-loss and wellness facility, but surveillance and undercover work showed that the business was illegally selling marijuana, according to Peoria police spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto.

The business would sign up members who have medical marijuana cards and allow them to buy marijuana through a set donation price.

Jacinto said the business was found to be illegally operating as a dispensary because it is not approved by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) as a medical marijuana dispensary, and its employees are not licensed by ADHS as dispensary agents.

Detectives arrested the business owners, identified as Joshua Hernandez, 39, and Kristina Tangolics, 28, along with three employees, identified as Robert Tangolics, 22, Angela Maness, 33, and Andrew Knight, 33, for conspiracy to distribute and the sale of marijuana.

At the end of this week, a licensed medical marijuana dispensary will be opening in Peoria. This is the only facility in the city currently authorized by the ADHS as a dispensary.