Feds raid Corvallis pot shop, allege black market sales, credit card fraud


Since Nevada legalized recreational marijuana, anyone 21 and over can possess up to 1 ounce in-state. How many people actually could look at an ounce and identify it, though? We’re here to help educate you. Jenny Kane/RGJ

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was involved in a June 12, 2018, raid in Corvallis, Ore.(Photo: Tim Smith / Special to the Statesman Journal)

A Corvallis marijuana retailer was raided Tuesday for allegedly selling pot across state lines and being involved in a sprawling credit card scheme.

The operation at the Corvallis Cannabis Club marks one of the first major enforcement actions in Oregon after U.S. Attorney Billy Williams signaled deep concerns earlier this year about the state’s overabundance of marijuana fueling the black market.

The raid also was the culmination of a year-and-a-half-long investigation by federal officials into a credit card fraud scheme that targeted struggling Armenians.

More pot news: 6 mayors want pot removed from federal list of illegal drugs

Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration took point on Tuesday’s operations, though U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Kevin Sonoff declined to give the number of agents involved.

Twelve Corvallis Police Department officers joined federal agents, city spokesman Patrick Rollens said.

Three arrests were made in connection with the credit card scheme, which allegedly funded the Corvallis Cannabis Club. Money from the fraud allegedly was used to pay for growing illegal pot.

Ararat Manukyan, Yeghishe Nazaryan, and Gevorg Tashchyan are expected to appear before a federal judge Wednesday in Eugene. Gavin Bruce, assistant U.S. attorney for Oregon, is prosecuting the case.

Calls to the Corvallis Cannabis Club went unanswered Tuesday.

Authorities believe some of the Corvallis-grown marijuana has been sold across state lines, which remains illegal under federal law. And

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