“Precision policing and relentless follow-up” is how the New York Police Department characterized a recent marijuana bust it bragged about. But the business owner caught up in the case begs to differ, saying the cops simply have legal hemp on their hands.
The NYPD posted a photo to Twitter on Tuesday showcasing what it said was 106 pounds of marijuana “destined for our city streets.” But the owner of Green Angel CBD said it’s actually just hemp containing CBD, a legal substance used to treat a variety of physical and mental ailments.
Oren Levy (who also goes by John Dee) told HuffPost that his regular shipment of hemp had all the proper paperwork attached to it. But that apparently didn’t stop a FedEx employee from calling the police, who confiscated the plants on Friday, according to Levy.
Levy said that on Saturday the NYPD called to tell him he could pick up the shipment. But when his brother, Ronen, arrived at the 75th Precinct, he was arrested instead.
“He got to the police station, they put him in a questioning room and kept telling him it was narcotics and they didn’t care what the papers said,” Levy said.
Ronen Levy was detained for 36 hours, his brother said. Court records show he was charged with six counts of marijuana possession. “They treated him like a criminal, they treated him like a piece of shit,” Oren Levy said.
At a crime statistic briefing on Wednesday, NYPD Chief of Department Terence A. Monahan said the evidence was at a lab being tested to make a “final determination.”
“The individual had no bill of lading justifying its delivery,” Monahan said.
But Levy said every shipment, which comes from Fox Holler Farm in Vermont, has paperwork clearly indicating the packages are hemp. Levy provided the document to HuffPost.
What’s more, the packages apparently had been inspected by law enforcement authorities in Vermont before the NYPD’s seizure. A report from the Williston Police Department in that state said it was alerted by FedEx about a possible marijuana shipment.
“Both boxes contained paperwork explaining the shipper as a registered VT Cannabis Hemp grower,” said an officer’s report obtained by HuffPost. “I advised the company that this does appear to be Legal Hemp and not Marijuana and the police was not going to seize it.”
Levy said the seizure of his product totals about $30,000. Since posting about the experience on Instagram and talking to media outlets, Levy said he’s received an outpouring of support and that he plans to take legal action against FedEx and the NYPD.
“They know they fucked up,” he said.