PHOENIX -- Deputies from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office have arrested 12 people in a medical marijuana investigation.
A news release from Sheriff Arpaio said his office has been looking into a medical marijuana dispensary operation that was allegedly illegal.
Detectives have seized $44,317.00, 8 handguns, 55 pounds of medical grade marijuana, 20 pounds of marijuana edibles, 5 vehicles, safes, televisions, computers and tablets from the business and employees' residences.
"These businesses are trying to make a profit selling a controversial substance and are not following state law. They are damaging legal marijuana dispensaries that have followed the law and been approved by the state," said Sheriff Arpaio "We will continue to crack down on businesses that refuse to follow the law."
Arpaio said the suspects opened a shop called Alternative Medicine Group (AMG) and sold medical grade marijuana as a dispensary with no license or authority from the state to do so.
Sheriff’s detectives were able to conduct several undercover buys throughout the investigation.
Detectives also said that the locations hired armed security guards dressed in tactical attire to protect the business locations.
Sheriff’s detectives and Sheriff’s SWAT served five search warrants on the homes and businesses of suspects associated with the Alternative Medicine Group (AMG).
The investigation has taken months and is still not complete, according to the sheriff's office.