MCLOUD, Okla. (KFOR) – A marijuana mix-up in Pottawatomie County led to a grow operation raid that allegedly should have never happened and caused possibly millions of dollars in damages.
“Everything was destroyed. Pipes were cut. The dozers were taken to the back and ran over the plants. Plants were chopped up,” Earth Research Labs’ property manager told News 4.
KFOR was there Thursday after the Special Operations Team of District 23 wrapped up a raid at a medical marijuana grow in McLoud.
“They were in SWAT formation. Going to every one of the buildings and trying to clear them out,” the property manager said. “Them telling us that we were pretty much operating illegally, when we were operating legally and all detained. Pointed at guns. Our dogs were almost shot at.”
Earth Research Labs CEO, Rodney Topkov was in California with a sick family member when he got the call of his plants being destroyed.
“They were like, ‘Hey, there’s some gentlemen here. They’re saying we don’t have the proper paperwork in place. If you can get us over all the paperwork so we can cross check it with them,” Topkov said.
Topkov says he sent over paperwork showing they are a legal operation but by then it was too late.
“They already started tearing stuff down,” Topkov said. “Basically wrapped it up within 20 minutes and told everybody sorry and then took off.”
Pottawatomie County District Attorney, Alan Grubb tells KFOR the special operations team thought they were in the right.
Saying they got a warrant based on information received from another law enforcement agency that they “believed in good faith to be accurate and correct after several checks.”
“Initial check through our system, our new system did not show an active license. The following day we did a secondary search of our old system and we did find a license,” said Mark Woodward, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.
Meanwhile, Topkov has lawyered up.
“This is a pretty incredible mistake, whether it’s a computer glitch or a non communication to the correct agency. Either way, we do know that I have a client that is out millions and millions of dollars and we need to know who’s gonna be held accountable,” said Donald Gies, founding and managing attorney at Gies Law Firm.
“I didn’t think that a state that I’m legally licensed in would come in and do something like this and just say, ‘sorry,’” Topkov said.
Topkov believes there to be up to $10 million in damages. But Grubb does say he thinks that number is hyper inflated.