Allegations of Pot-Related Corruption Hit a California Town
Council members rush to reassure residents after FBI raids the mayor's home, city hall, and a marijuana dispensary
Armed with search warrants, the FBI earlier this week raided the home of Adelanto Mayor Rich Kerr (shown above), Adelanto City Hall, and the Jet Room — a local medical cannabis dispensary — multiple outlets reported.
The IRS and the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office were also part of the raids conducted in Adelanto, California, this week, according to Fox News.
Allegations of marijuana industry-related corruption among Adelanto municipal officials is something of a déjà vu experience for the San Bernardino County desert town’s 33,000-plus residents.
Last year, Adelanto’s then-Mayor Pro Tem Jermaine Wright was charged with attempted arson and requesting and accepting a $10,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent. The alleged bribe was in exchange for political favors regarding the marijuana transportation business, as The San Bernardino Sun reported.
Wright pled not guilty and his trial date was moved to this August, The Daily Press reported in January. Since his indictment in the FBI sting, Adelanto “has been subject to an ongoing investigation into public corruption,” according to ABC 7.
This week's raid is part of that ongoing probe.
In an effort to revive itself economically, the town of Adelanto began courting the cannabis industry in mid-2015, the Los Angeles Times reported. The strategy led to "a land rush as entrepreneurs sought to take advantage of Adelanto's welcoming posture," the outlet explained.
Adelanto began courting the cannabis industry in mid-2015.
Meanwhile, FBI agents "seized four years of tax returns, bank documents, marijuana industry-related regulations, handwritten notes and other miscellaneous items from Mayor Rich Kerr's home Tuesday as part of an ongoing public corruption probe," The Daily Press reported Thursday afternoon.
Another primary location at which the FBI executed search warrants this week was at Adelanto's Jet Room. The venue, according to its website, is a "clean, safe, and elegant experience where patients will feel comfortable knowing that their information is kept strictly confidential."
The medical cannabis shop is owned by Lisa Marie Guerra, the website indicates.
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.