Five Indicted after Alleged Medical Marijuana Caregiver Grow Scheme is Uncovered

PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a State Grand Jury charged Perry Hester, Brandon Hester, James Donaldson, and Christopher Rafferty in connection with a statewide medical marijuana caregiver grow scheme.

The defendants are accused of giving fraudulent information to the State of Arizona in order to be classified as medical marijuana caregivers with marijuana cultivation permissions. According to the indictment, the defendants allegedly listed false addresses for patients in remote areas across the state. With those alleged false addresses, the defendants were authorized for medical marijuana cultivation. The group is accused of using their fraudulently obtained marijuana grow permission to cultivate and sell illegal marijuana inside of a warehouse on South 40th Street in Phoenix.

Christopher Martin was also indicted for allegedly transporting money and cannabis for sale.

Investigators served 12 search warrants and seized more than 550 marijuana plants, more than 20 pounds of harvested marijuana, and cannabis extraction equipment. Deputies also seized more than 15 firearms and over $100,000 in alleged drug sale proceeds.

This case was investigated by Special Agents with the Arizona Attorney General's Office Arizona Financial Crimes Task Force, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Phoenix Police Department, and other local agencies.

Assistant Attorney General Nick Saccone is prosecuting this case.

All defendants are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law.

For additional information, members of the media may contact Mia Garcia, Director of Media Relations at (602) 339-5895 or Mia.Garcia@azag.gov.

Full copy of the Indictment.