The Orange County District Attorney’s office (OCDA) has filed charges against three of the police officers seen in a notorious surveillance video eating pot-laced candy bars during a May 26, 2015 raid of a Santa Ana medical marijuana dispensary, Sky High Holistic. The video, first posted by OC Weekly last June, clearly showed officers passing around candy bars, joking about feeling “light-headed,” and tossing darts after finishing their Scooby snack. The shocking footage of the “Sky High Cops” went viral, leading to nationwide and international news reports.
Yet in its official announcement of the misdemeanor charges filed today, the OCDA claims there is no evidence that any of the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) officers shown in the video consumed marijuana products during the raid. Instead, they are being prosecuted for causing intentional damage to “legally” disabled video cameras and eating “Detour Simple protein bars and Mrs. Thinsters cookies” that were not marijuana-laced products on sale at the dispensary, but were simply “snacks available to staff.”
The officers named in the OCDA announcement as facing petty theft charges for eating the supposedly non-pot-laced candy bars are Brandon Matthew Sontag (31), Nicole Lynn Quijas (37) and Jorge Arroyo (32). Sontag also faces an additional count of vandalism for damaging the disabled video cameras by allegedly smashing their lenses into the corner of a display case and cash register.
“The three defendants are accused of consuming the food items and sharing the protein bars with other SAPD personnel,” the press release states. “Before leaving the premises at the conclusion of the search warrant, Quijas and Arroyo are accused of taking extra cookies with them.”
The DA’s office says it conducted a “thorough investigation” of the incident, including the careful review of more than 16 hours of “unedited video surveillance footage” with the cooperation of the SAPD. “While other SAPD personnel [like the bald cop seen in the video saying he felt "light-headed” after eating one of them] ate some protein bars, there is insufficient evidence that they knew the food itmes [s[sic]elonged to the dispensary and not their fellow officers,” the release states. “There was also no evidence that any SAPD personnel consumed any edible marijuana items available at the dispensary.”
Right: No evidence whatsoever, other than the fact that the cops were at a pot shop, eating candy bars, and acting high. One is then left with the obvious conclusion that these poor officers are so underpaid that they have no choice but to munch down on pilfered protein bars while on duty. That makes so much more sense.
If convicted on all counts, this trio of uniformed snack fiends faces between six months and one year in jail, plus fines.