Phoenix elementary teacher arrested for selling potPosted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck
PHOENIX -- Inside the offices of JPC in north Phoenix, an alleged landscaping business, Phoenix Police say the tenants were selling marijuana.
“They rented the suite under an assumed business, a landscaping company,” said Phoenix Police spokesman Sgt. James Holmes. “They were actually selling marijuana out of this business.”
According to court documents, Bobbi Jo Grunert, her husband James Grunert, and Heather Kallipolitis participated in a conspiracy to sell marijuana.
Police said they were tipped off in June that JPC was growing and selling marijuana, and were advertising on the website leafy.com, soliciting medical marijuana patients under the name “Top Shelf Exotic Meds.”
On June 18, police said the JPC office was burglarized, and Sgt. Holmes said that’s how detectives were able to get information to further the case.
Phoenix police sent an undercover officer to JPC on several occasions in August. Police said the Grunerts were using Bobbi Jo’s status as a medical marijuana caregiver to solicit large donations for marijuana from people who were not her patients.
“When you go out and you rent an office, under the guise of a different type of business, and you choose to sell marijuana to whoever will come in the door, and you are a licensed caregiver, then obviously you are breaking the law because it is for profit,” said Holmes.
The Grunerts and Kallipolitis were arrested September 13.
According to Bobbi Jo Grunert’s teaching website, she has been a teacher at Desert Sage Elementary school in Glendale for 21 years.
Desert Sage is part of the Deer Valley School District, which lists Bobbi Jo Grunert as a first and second grade teacher on its website.
The Deer Valley School District would not comment or answer questions about whether Bobbi Jo Grunert was still teaching at the school, but released this statement to 3TV:
“The Deer Valley Unified School District has very high standards for all district employees and holds them accountable to these standards. In the event of an arrest of an employee, we place the person on administrative leave with pay until further determinations are received. If convicted, a statement of charges is given to the Board requesting employee termination. In this case, the employee was not convicted for any crime and all charges were dropped. The district has never received any formal complaints regarding this employee. The safety of all students remains a top priority for the district.”
Phoenix Police and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office both told 3TV it is inaccurate to say charges have been dropped in this case. Instead, the prosecutor is waiting for more information before the case moves forward, which is not uncommon in drug cases.
The Deer Valley School District chose not to amend their statement, but instead said it reflected the information they had.
Police do not suspect that Bobbi Jo Grunert was selling drugs at school.