Santa Maria, Calif. – Detectives have arrested a Santa Maria man for illegal, unlicensed cannabis sales. On Thursday, January 25, 2024, at approximately 8:34 a.m., detectives from the Sheriff’s Cannabis Compliance Team served a warrant at a residence in the 800-block of S. Smith Street. As a result of this warrant, detectives seized approximately 90 pounds of cannabis flower, a non-serialized (ghost gun) AR15 rifle, and over $300,000 in U.S. currency. Detectives arrested 24-year-old Apolinar Ordaz Soriano for sales/transportation cannabis without a license(felony), conspiracy (felony), possession of cannabis for sale (misdemeanor), and illegal cannabis sales (misdemeanor). Ordaz Soriano is being held at the Northern Branch Jail with $20,000 bail. Charges related to the illegal rifle are pending further investigation.
Enforcing the arrest of suspects involved in illegal cannabis sales is a crucial task of the Cannabis Compliance Team, aimed at upholding the integrity of the legal cannabis industry and protecting public safety. Legalizing and regulating cannabis was intended to create a framework that ensures product safety, quality, and responsible consumption. Illegal sales not only undermine these objectives but also pose serious risks to consumers who may unknowingly purchase products that have not undergone proper testing for contaminants or potency.
In addition to protecting consumers and the integrity of the legal cannabis market, arresting suspects involved in illegal sales helps prevent organized crime and the associated violence that often accompanies illicit drug trade. This proactive approach by the Santa Barbara County Cannabis Compliance Team reinforces the rule of law and promotes a safer environment for both industry stakeholders and the general public. Overall, the enforcement of arrests for illegal marijuana sales is an essential element in maintaining a well-regulated and responsible cannabis industry.