Prineville medical pot clinic owner arrested -- again

Raid on Ryan Cole's home follows one last fall on downtown clinic

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - A 36-year-old Prineville man whose downtown Prineville medical marijuana clinic was raided last fall was arrested again Thursday in a raid on his home/business, where authorities say he was illegally selling the drug to both medical marijuana patients and others not in the program.

Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team detectives, assisted by Prineville police and Crook County sheriff's deputies, executed a search warrant around 2:45 p.m. at Ryan Daniel Cole's home at 490 NE Combs Flat Road, said Lt. Ken Mannix.

Mannix said the raid resulted from a lengthy investigation by CODE Team detectives into sales and distribution of marijuana from his residence/business, where he moved his Crook County Compassion Clinic Club,  or ‘5C,' since the CODE Team's November raid on its North Main Street location.

At that time, the agency alleged Cole was selling marijuana to a minor, but he denied the allegation and claimed the charges were aimed at hurting his and his "clinic/club's" reputation. A protest near the police department a few days later drew about 30 people who lined both sides of Highway 126 with signs.

Cole has pleaded not guilty to that charge, with a trial set for December, Crook County District Attorney Daina Vitolins confirmed.

Mannix said the recent investigation found that Cole was selling marijuana to Oregon Medical Marijuana Card holders, as well as to others who are not in the program.

Cole was taken into custody at his home/business during the raid, in which Mannix said agents found marijuana plants, packaged pot, scales, drug records, cash, firearms and other evidence of marijuana sales and distribution

Oregon lawmakers recently approved a new state dispensary program, due to begin next spring, that will allow growers to be reimbursed by dispensaries, who will then charge patients. Those rules are still being defined.

But Mannix noted that there have been other investigations around the state of illegal marijuana distribution and manufacturing through dispensaries.

Cole was lodged at the Crook County Jail on a charge of marijuana delivery, but later released under what jail officials called a "medical matrix," meaning he has a medical condition that could cause risk to the inmate, such as required medications or pre-existing conditions.

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