Three Santa Ana police officers were sentenced to community service after pleading no contest to misdemeanor charges connected to a 2015 raid on a cannabis dispensary.
The trio of police officers were seen on security camera footage eating snacks and making disparaging comments about a disabled woman, who was also a shop volunteer, while serving a search warrant at Sky High Holistic.
While the police legally disabled 16 of the shop’s cameras, prosecutors found that five of those cameras had been unlawfully vandalized.
Officers Jorge Arroyo and Nicole Lynn Quijas both pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of petty theft and were sentenced to 40 hours of community service. Officer Brandon Sontag, who was also charged with vandalism for breaking five of the security cameras, pleaded no contest to the charges and was sentenced to 80 hours of community service in addition to being ordered to pay full restitution.
When the footage was initially released, it seemed the officers were consuming edibles during the raid, but an internal investigation by the Santa Ana Police Department found that the items were protein bars and cookies stolen from the employee break room.
All three officers have since been reinstated after being fired by then Chief-of-Police Carlos Rojas, and Arroyo and Quijas appealed their terminations and were reinstated in a settlement with the city. Sontag sued to get his job back and was reinstated earlier this year.
The city agreed to pay Sky High Holistic $100,000 to settle a lawsuit in connection with the raid and to dismiss the charges filed against the people accused of operating the dispensary unlawfully. At the time of the incident the dispensary was being accused of operating without a license.