San Diego

Deputies Arrest Owner of Illegal Marijuana Dispensary in El Cajon

The owner's illegal marijuana dispensary, known as the Wax Room, was shut down in July

Deputies arrested the owner of an illegal marijuana dispensary in El Cajon Wednesday, months after shutting down his covert operation in Spring Valley.

The Sheriff's Rancho San Diego Crime Suppression Team and Area Detectives executed a search warrant on Windridge Drive, near Merritt Drive around 7 a.m., according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO).

Steve Tooma, 35, was arrested and charged with opening or maintaining a drug house, criminal conspiracy and possession of marijuana for sales. Deputies took Tooma into custody and booked him into San Diego Central Jail shortly after his arrest.

Last July, deputies shut down his illegal marijuana dispensary known as the Wax Room, or Spring Valley Greens, on Campo Road in Casa De Oro. Multiple residents living nearby expressed concern about the store.

Just this month, San Diego police also raided two illegal pot dispensaries claiming to be part of a Native American church in Miramar and Lakeside.

SDPD police Lt. Matt Novak told NBC 7 that police and the city attorney's office have shut down more than 60 dispensaries since March. The authorities are working to close all businesses without legal permits.

Despite their efforts, some illegal marijuana dispensaries are still making up to $15,000 a day in San Diego, without paying taxes, permitting fees or adhering to general rules, said Novak.

NBC 7 Investigates recently created a map of medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego, showing where legal and illegal stores are currently operating.

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