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Man arrested for running illegal marijuana dispensary, cops say

EL CAJON, Calif. — An East County man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly running an illegal marijuana dispensary in Casa de Oro in defiance of authorities’ efforts to close it down.

Deputies took 35-year-old Steve Tooma into custody about 7 a.m. while serving a search warrant at his home in the 1300 block of Windridge Drive in an unincorporated area near El Cajon, according to sheriff’s officials.

Detectives seized paperwork and computer equipment related to Spring Valley Greens, the cannabis business Tooma allegedly runs in the Casa de Oro area, Sgt. Matt Cook said.

Tooma denied operating the dispensary, claiming he only owns a next-door smoke shop, according to Cook.

Tooma was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of maintaining a drug house, criminal conspiracy and illegal possession of marijuana for sale.

In mid-July, authorities raided Spring Valley Greens, also known as the Wax Room, arresting two employees and seizing marijuana, cannabis-infused edible products, a pistol and more than $10,000 in cash, according to sheriff’s officials.

That operation resulted from “numerous” complaints from the public about the allegedly illegal dispensary, which has remained in operation despite the enforcement actions against it, Cook said.