Kush Cars Seized, Two Suspects Arrested for alleged Marijuana Distribution in the areas of 14th and U Street, NW and 8th and H Street, NW

kush
Via MPD

Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice (@SafeDC) tweets:

“MPD’s holiday visit to the “Kushgod” did not involve the bearing of gifts.”

From MPD:

“The Metropolitan Police Department’s Narcotics and Special Investigations Division have announced that two arrests have been made in reference to a narcotics operation in the areas of 14th and U Street, Northwest and 8th and H Street, Northwest.

On Tuesday, December 22, 2015, 30-year-old Nicholas Cunningham, of Birmingham, Alabama and 18-year-old Evonne Lidoff, of Northwest, DC, were arrested and charged with Distribution of Marijuana.

Members of the Narcotics and Special Investigations Division also seized three vehicles, pictured below, in reference to the investigation, which all were painted depicting the logo and business information of “kushgod.com.”

88 Comment

  • Silly rabbit!! Just cause you can smoke weed in DC doesn’t mean you can actually sell it…. It just magically appears in your bong, concentrate real hard. Easy does it, you don’t want to over pack the bong.

  • Hey MPD how about stopping some real crime. It’s hard to brag about stopping a marijuana operation when over half the district tokes up. What a joke.

  • I’d much prefer that MPDC devote these resources to the more serious problem of violent crime in our city. (And there’s no obvious connection to violent crime in this bust–not a case of dealers shooting it out over territory, etc.)
    .
    Did this arrest make it safer for us to walk the streets or ride the Metro? Perhaps that should be the new criterion for police administrators deciding how to allocate crime-fighting resources. (If anything, it’s preventing some potentially angry people from self-medicating.)

  • Dang! They were just on the news 2 days ago. I think that guy from the Hemp shop ratted them out- because he said that what they were doing was illegal to his knowledge. The news said they contacted the police to inquire and the police had NO comment. Now this? The Kush guy when interviewed said what he was doing was legal- because he wasn’t selling anything- he said all he did was accept donations– for the products he was selling.

    • Forgot to mention the products the Kush guy showed the news reporter were all edible treats, cookies, gummies etc. He had them in the Trunk and was interviewed park at the gas station on 14th and FL(I think). He was very open about it. guess he misinterpreted the law or thought he found a loophole since it was donations based vs actually selling.

  • Meanwhile violent crime that has actual victims has gotten so bad that people fear walking on a sidewalk in broad daylight, even in the nicer neighborhoods. And god forbid you want to take your phone out to look at it while you’re in public, that just paints a target on you.

    But I’m sure this bust will put a huge dent in the distribution of pot in the city, if not put an end to it completely. Job well done MPD

    • I’m not afraid to walk on my street, even at night. And I live in — NE! Can we stop the hyperbole? If you’re too afraid to walk on the street in the middle of the day, might I suggest Iowa.

      • Good for you tough guy, tell that to residents of Cap Hill after what has happened there the last couple months. Or the guy who got his face smashed in just riding the metro on a crowded train in rush hour a couple days ago. Instead the cops chose to take down an easy target for some headlines to make it look like they can do something to curb crime when in fact they can’t or simply won’t.

        • justinbc

          “Good for you tough guy, tell that to residents of Cap Hill after what has happened there the last couple months.”
          What a coincidence, I live in Capitol Hill, and I’m definitely not afraid of walking in my neighborhood. Also, since you seem unaware, a huge chunk of Capitol Hill actually exists in Northeast DC. Shocker, I know!

          • Thanks for the geography lesson, I wouldn’t expect anything less from you. I’m not going to waste time going over my DC credentials, I’ll just bow to your obvious superiority and knowledge. I’m glad you feel safe I mean that in all sincerity, it is just too bad the rest of the people in this city don’t feel the same way. The fact that you of all people responded (twice!) is all the confirmation that I need.

          • SouthwestDC

            I live in Capitol Hill too. What has happened here in the last couple months, besides the usual robberies and such?

          • justinbc

            It’s good to know that I’m your gold standard for avoiding hyperbole. We all strive for something!

        • I’m not a “tough guy,” I’m a realist. I have enough sense to know that when there’s a spike in crime, from already low rates, I’m not going to have to lock myself in my house and hide. Jesus, if you really think it’s that terrifying out there, I feel sorry for you. You can site a few examples of random acts of violence. I can site hundreds of thousands examples of people in DC who weren’t the victims of crime recently. Go in fear, my friend.

          • And I will extend sympathy to you in advance for being the victim of a violent crime when it inevitably happens to you or someone you love

          • It’s happened to me. I got mugged 12 years ago in Cleveland Park. And then I moved to Eckington, where a few murders happened within two blocks of my house. I realize that I live in a major city. Shit happens, and if I happen to be the very rare victim of a truly brutal crime, that will be unfortunate for my family. But I’m still not going to be afraid to walk around DC. Live how you want – but it’s sad that you’re so afraid. DC is a safe city, whether you want to believe it or not.

        • IF you’re scared it’s one thing- but to state that everyone else is scared to walk down the their neighborhood streets is stretch. You don’t need to make up stuff to feel good about your own fears. It’s ok.

      • I don’t know about Iowa, Trump is polling quite high.

    • justinbc

      “Meanwhile violent crime that has actual victims has gotten so bad that people fear walking on a sidewalk in broad daylight, even in the nicer neighborhoods.”
      Those same people are going to be afraid to walk on a sidewalk anyway. I can assure you there are many of us who aren’t scared to walk through Georgetown hiding our phones.

      • I have to agree with you here, justinbc. I’m not afraid to walk my streets (day or night) and I live in Brightwood. I suppose I should ask Santa for some pearls to clutch this Christmas, perhaps that’s what I’m missing…

    • Your logic is, “stop enforcing the laws” = “less crime.” Seems solid.

  • This is an absolute embarrassment for the MPD and a major waste or time and resources. What happened to the whole idea of making cannabis busts “low priority” and why in the world would anyone be assigned to this case when we continue to have on-going issues with synthetic drugs and turf-fueled gun violence? No props to the cops this time.

    • To be fair, these guys were flaunting it in the faces of the MPD. They were idiots and distribution is still illegal.
      .
      I’m 100% pro-legalization, but use some discretion. Had these guys just stuck to social media and not used the flashy cars, they’d still be out on U Street tonight. They were dealing in plain sight of uniformed MPD.

      • Right, because uniformed officers have stopped other criminals in the past. I guess we can all forget about those pop up tents in Shaw.

      • Understood, but it’s practically an insult to taxpayers to devote resources to this while the streets aren’t safe. It’s like washing the windows while the building is burning.

        • They are hardly devoting resources. The dudes are on the news and out in the open. This bust probably required the least amount of resources of any bust in history.

          • Agreed. It’s not hard to bust these guys when they post up their location on Instagram every weekend. Soliciting “donations” isn’t a legal loophole. It’s straight up dealing. The law is specific that you can’t accept payment in any form, whether it’s cash or trading product. It has to be a legit gift.

          • Well, if you consider it a bit: this is a dedicated division and not a street or foot patrol, so there was likely planning leading to this. How much manpower was devoted to the bust? It had to be a group of people. Two arrests were made, there’s transport, booking. Was overtime paid? Three vehicles were seized which necessitated transport, those also need to be tracked and processed, more paperwork there no doubt. The entire legal process involving court time, inevitable delays as it’s dragged out and costing more time, legal resources and their time, etc., etc.
            .
            Maybe the bust happens fairly quickly, but the rest doesn’t and requires attention from the city’s entire law enforcement apparatus.
            .
            What else happened and will happen in the city while all this time and money is essentially being wasted?

          • A dedicated division to drug enforcement. So maybe they don’t have any good tips pending for some big bust. Is it better to sit around and do nothing? As noted, I don’t think it took a lot of planning. Sure they had to process the arrests and call a tow truck. Still pretty insignificant. The weren’t following these guys for weeks, getting wire taps, paying informants, etc. This was easy-peasy.

            And it’s a very slippery slope if you just let criminals be criminals out in the open. Maybe these guys are peaceful, don’t carry guns, and just want to “help” people get some pot, but what happens when someone else sees what is happening and decides to take over the turf or rob these guys? Or if people start taking donations for heroin instead, is it cool to devote resources then? Maybe the cops thought they would find illegal firearms. Who knows.

          • Mark Seagraves of WRC-TV said MPD spent 2 months investigating the Kush Gods. Two freaking months! Hardly the “easy bust” you guys assume.

            WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY. Guys are getting beat on Metro to within inches of their lives and you’re all congratulating MPD for stopping weed dealers.

          • @1400 Aspen NW, you’re exactly right about that. Here’s the extent of the investigation, as disclosed thus far:
            .
            “Officers say the investigation began in October of this year. They said that an undercover officer purchased marijuana and edible marijuana goods from Cunningham over 1/2 dozen times since October 10.”
            .
            http://www.fox5dc.com/news/60875857-story

          • justinbc

            The same officer working this case would not have been able to prevent what happened to the guy who was beaten on the Metro. Nobody would have, because we don’t have cops just riding the Metro waiting for someone to be beaten up. If there were, there would inevitably be someone here whining because that person wasn’t at the scene of some OTHER crime that they totally should have been able to predict instead.

        • justinbc

          I’m a tax payer and am personally not insulted by someone who breaks the law being arrested. You seem to be of the belief that there must only be one police officer in the entire District, and therefore only one case can be under investigation at any particular time?

          • Thank you justinbc for gracing us with your holier than thou opinion on this issue, I can now rest assured that since you are not offended by this that it was indeed justified and a good use of police resources.

            In all seriousness I don’t think that anyone is arguing that these arrests and seizures required a large amount of police resources. What is being argued by myself and others (thank you h for that detailed and well thought out reply) is that ANY resources that were used in the arrest and processing of these individuals are better spent on high priority targets. The Drug enforcement division at MPD seems to have a hard time keeping actual street-level sales from occurring despite much of it happening in plan view and in well known locations.

          • As for “actual street-level sales” — FWIW, I believe MPD is more interested in big-time dealers/distributors than in small-time street-corner sellers.

          • justinbc

            Eckingtonite, please share with us your knowledge of how police budgets work, since you can’t fathom any instance in which these blatantly lawbreaking people should have been arrested.

          • I was going to reply to this, but then I remembered that mom always warned me not to feed the trolls…

          • textdoc, in response to your thoughtful response. No disagreement here that MPD is more interested in big-time dealers/distributors, as they should be. I was merely stating that if MPD is going to focus resources (2 months worth as 1400 Aspen NW stated above) on street-level busts like this one that they instead focus on individuals who are selling synthetics and heroin. You know, drugs that are illegal to possess and are a risk to public health.
            Were the owners of Kush Gods breaking the law? Most likely (Does anyone remember that defendants are innocent until proven guilty????)
            Is the law governing marijuana possession and distribution poorly written? You betcha.
            Has the DC council been prevented from enacting planned regulations regarding legal distribution by a bunch of idiots in Congress? Yes.
            Considering that, everyone chill. Merry Chrimbus ya filthy animals.

          • Eckingtonite, my assumption was that MPD perceived these people as a larger-scale operation than the street-corner sellers. (I don’t know whether that was the case volume-wise — sounds like they were certainly much more visible.)

          • It’s a waste of everyone’s time to argue over the semantics of what constitutes a “large scale operation”. But I am pretty certain that two guys selling edibles from a couple of tricked out cars is a far cry from the interstate (and international) criminal organizations that usually fall under this definition.

          • Eckingtonite, these clowns were actually posting video and photos of themselves to Instagram making the edible products and showing indoor grow operations. MPD probably considered them to be “major suppliers,” rather than just corner boys.
            Again, the level of stupidity here is just astounding. Preponderance of evidence, it’s an open-and-shut case.

          • It’s been established that MPD spent two months working on this case in the lead up to these arrests, so I’m not sure why this whole issue of “they were publicizing their own actions” keeps on popping up.
            It is also not illegal to make edible products, nor is it illegal to grow cannabis as long as you are doing so within the defined legal limits. I have not seen the videos that you are referencing. However, even if the video displayed more then 12 cannabis plant I doubt it is possibly to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that said plants were being cultivated in the district and not say, a grow operation in Colorado.
            To be clear, I agree that the owners of Kush Gods are idiots. I do not agree that MPD used their resources appropriately in pursuing this case.

          • justinbc

            So they took time to do their job thoroughly, and now that’s a bad thing? You, or I, or anyone else here, also have no concept to what a “two month investigation” actually entails based on one news report. Were they working 40 hour weeks for 8 weeks straight trying to bring down two guys who posted evidence everywhere possible? Unlikely. Did they get the case dropped on their desk and make an arrest two months later, all the while doing lots of other police work and making other arrests, investigations, etc, possibly, but also unknown. As I said, unless you have some intimate knowledge about how this investigation went down that you’re just withholding then it just comes across as sour grapes from someone who doesn’t want to get busted themselves.
            You do also realize that marijuana possession is still a federal crime though, right? So if you want the big boys from the DEA, FBI, etc who investigate those “interstate organizations” you’re concerned about to come knocking here in DC, be careful what you’re asking for.

          • *slow clap*

            When lacking any facts or “intimate knowledge” it’s always a great strategy to deride the opposing view point and those speaking in favor of it. I especially enjoyed the part where you then accuse those supporting said opposing view point of participating in criminal acts. Class act good sir!

            I nor anyone else here has attempted to quantif the time and resources spent on this, nor claimed intimate knowledge of how the case unfolded. We have merely questioned the value of using any resources (don’t forget that this case must now make its way through an already over-burdened criminal justice system with all the associated costs to tax payers that entails) to prosecute a case like this one.

            As for “inviting in the Feds”; Congress has passed legislation barring Federal law enforcement agencies from intervening in jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis (including Washington DC).

          • justinbc

            The fact that you wouldn’t want to use ANY resources, by your own words, to bust criminals openly and blatantly breaking the law, tells me everything I need to know about you, good sir.

          • Suprisingly you are correct justinbc, despite your continued personal attacks (you’ve been reading the Donald Trump playbook I take it?). I am against the use of law enforcement resources for the prosecution of non-violent cannabis related crimes, whether possession or distribution. Especially in a case where those distributing are attempting to do so within the existing regulatory regime (although I admit that the individuals behind Kush God failed at this).

            Council Member Grosso intended on setting up a system to regulate and tax the legal sale of cannabis following the ratification of initiative 71. That attempt was stopped by Congress. As a result we are left with distribution remaining illegal until additional regulations can be passed. My argument is that MPD should make enforcement of the remaining cannabis related laws their lowest priority until such time as a suitable regulatory regime can be setup.

            MPD statements released after the ratification of Initiative 71 stated that enforcement of the remaining laws regarding cannabis would be relegated to low priority status. A result of this has been the widespread consumption of cannabis that now occurs in public unimpeded (which is also against then law btw). Do those on the opposing side of this debate also argue that we should prosecute all those who consume cannabis in public as well? Bottom line is that MPDs actions (not to mention their promotion of this case) go against the intended purpose and spirit of Initiative 71.

        • You assume there’s no connection. Why? Because your ethic says these laws are ok to break, but these are not. Congrats, that’s the same mentality of every violent criminal. They’re ok with it and so are their buddies.

  • I’m glad the cops finally stopped this silliness. The purpose of decriminalizing possession was to prevent people from being prosecuted for having weed since it is a silly crime that can seriously affect someone’s future. Distribution is a far more serious crime and should be treated as such. Since “legalization,” you cannot go out on U Street or 14th Street any given evening without smelling it wafting through the air. I, and many other people in DC, have jobs that require security clearances, meaning I cannot have drugs in my system. Regardless of the amount actually inhaled, I feel that it’s an assault on my body to force me to smell it repeatedly nearly every day (much like cigarette smoke or a fart). Regardless of legality, it’s a drug I don’t want in my system. As always, when the law moves, those choosing to break the law push its limits. These guys pushed the limits thinking they were smart for “not selling it.” I’d like to see their 501(c) registration as well as their accounting of where the donations are going if it’s truly a donation/charity.

    • “Serious crime” lol ok. Show me the victims of this serious crime preyed upon by the sinister Kush Gods

      • The high school kids who smoke up nearly every morning in the alley behind my building are victims of drug culture. I’m all for freedom to smoke your drugs or drink your alcohol when you’re an adult. Children in this city have bad role models as it is, let alone giving even MORE access for them to smoke up and get high before going to school… I’m sure they learn a whole lot while stoned. Distribution is illegal. Also, for people saying “the police should focus on real crime,” this is always the argument. There’s always some crime that’s “worse” by some standard. Cops should enforce all laws and likewise, we should follow all laws–that’s how civilization works. Millennials and many others lately seem to have this attitude that they are special and therefor exempt from punishment because of perceived fairness issues.

        • When I was in high school/underage we bought pot instead of alcohol because dealers wouldn’t ID you buying pot but the gas station would if you tried to buy beer. That is how well prohibition has worked. And I’m not a millennial so save that crap

    • I’d support your argument, if you didn’t use the bogus “security clearance” hyperbole.
      Smelling the smoke will not make you fail a drug test. Let’s be real here.

    • I am concerned that you have a job requiring security clearance if you actually think the odor of weed is a threat to it.

      If this is a troll job, however–(weed-themed) hats off to you.

      • Notice I said “regardless of the amount inhaled.” There are times when it’s thick clouds that are unavoidable without turning around on the sidewalk. I don’t want to smell any amount of it or have to worry about it. People should smoke in their own private homes–not at bus stops, on the sidewalk, in their cars while driving, in alleys, etc.

    • Ashy Oldlady

      I was unaware that the federal government was now testing people with security clearances for farts.

    • Hate to break it to you, but second hand MJ won’t cause you to bomb a drug test.

  • Serious crime? How about people who just flout the law? It’s the root of a lot of the problems in our society when people just decide that the law doesn’t apply to them. Seriously…how hard is it to just keep it under wraps and at least make an effort to pretend you’re not openly selling. Just have a tiny little bit of respect for the law, for the police, and for the other people in society who have decided that law for the society overrides the individual’s right to do whatever the hell they please. This is what civilization is all about and if you can’t respect that, then …you get the gist.

    • I also find it interesting that people here saying “it’s not serious, let the police concentrate on other things” are the same people who are up in arms when the parents of teenage ruffians say “‘they didn’t hurt anyone too bad’ when they mugged that guy, or ‘it’s his first offence’ so let the police concentrate on bigger problems”

      When you start to decide when it’s okay to break the law, how can you think others won’t start to decide for themselves as well? And who says we’ll be in agreement about what’s okay and what isn’t?

      • Hurting someone else = not ok.

        Being a free adult and making your own choices about what’s ok for you to do with your own body and your life = ok.

        Simple enough for you?

  • I was under the impression that you buy something like a shirt and then a pot brownie as a free gift that comes along with it. Oh well. Would have liked to have hit it up before it got busted but I’m about to start a city job so no doobies for me!

  • Also, no tears lost on these guys. Apparently they were slinging bunk/very weak edibles.
    reddit. com/r/washingtondc/comments/3pxisz/kush_gods_a_guide_and_review/

  • this will be a very interesting case to follow closely as there are many other businesses (while not as flashy) operating under the same “loophole”

  • anonymouse_dianne

    While I agree that the MPD should arrest people for flaunting illegal activities, on a personal note – the 18 y/o is the daughter of a friend I went to high school with. I’m sure that is wreaking havoc in the family. What a shame.

  • LOL these guys are idiots. Who cares about weed honestly but anyone that stupid deserved to get busted. If anything the fashion police should whip them until they bleed.

  • Is this likely to result in an asset forfeiture: the three vehicles that were seized?

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