Cop Robs Pot Op Posing as... Cop
One of the most often cited stereotypes and even a commonly listed side effect of cannabis use is paranoia. Although there are certainly some specific strains of marijuana that can trigger this awkward and uncomfortable state, anyone who grew up getting baked before the days of legal weed can tell you that the root cause of pot-related paranoia was usually the threat of getting busted.
Even today, as we surf the tsunami of cannabis legalization, that inherent feeling of doom anytime a cop is around remains woven into our DNA. Whether it’s local law enforcement shutting down the Sunday smoke sesh, or red and blue in your rear view as you drive home from work perfectly sober on a Tuesday, cops just induce that dreadful feeling we’ve all experienced…. for a reason.
Thursday of last week, federal agents arrested three men on charges of high level drug distribution and armed robbery stemming from an event on October 29th of this year when the men looted literal truckloads of cash and cannabis at gunpoint from a DTLA warehouse.
The three men allegedly approached the warehouse in a nondescript SUV. Upon arrival, they brandished firearms and demanded entrance to the building claiming to be law enforcement officers serving a search warrant.
They had their act well-rehearsed, right down to costumes and props. All three were dressed in the customary olive drab Call of Duty style paramilitary gear worn by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and when confronted by a security guard they even presented what must have passed as a legit search warrant.
Three warehouse employees were detained in the back of the robbers’ SUV while the crooks backed a large rental truck up to the warehouse entrance and began loading money, marijuana, and two safes into their vehicles.
Where did these guys get such convincing gear and tactics? Where did they learn how to forge such a convincing warrant?
Well, it turns out, the group’s ringleader – a 41 year old man named Marc Antrim - had spent his entire career rehearsing it all while at work as an active duty patrol deputy at the sheriff's station in Temple City, California.
Yessir, the cop was the robber.
That detail came in particularly handy when, more than two hours into the early morning heist, the actual cops showed up to see what was happening at the warehouse. Antrim scattered his accomplices and he calmly made his way out to head off any real attempts at protecting or serving.
Telling the responding officers that he was a LASD narcotics officer acting on a valid search warrant, Antrim even handed his cell phone over to an incredulous colleague and had him speak with a supposed superior officer for confirmation. Nobody is quite sure who was on the other end of that phone call, but it was definitely not the sergeant that Antrim says it was.
It worked, however, and the duped officers departed as Antrim’s crew slipped back in the back door to finish the job.
In all, they are said to have gotten away with $100,000 in cash & over 600 pounds of weed.
The savvy lawyer representing the warehouse owners smelled something fishy, though, and followed up with the sheriff's department several days later, and that began the investigation that finally bagged Antrim and his band of posers.
Serving a real, court-ordered, search warrant on Antrim’s home, investigators found between $300k-$400k and pounds of packaged cannabis.
Antrim and his two cronies are charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances which could land them each in federal prison for up to 40 years.
So yeah, in a lucrative new industry where businesses aren’t allowed to bank their cash like everyone else and where the cops are actually robbers posing as cops, forgive us if this Sour Diesel makes us a little edgy.