A 21-year-old smoke shop owner pleaded not guilty today to multiple drug-related charges after Long Beach police investigating illegal drug sales at his establishment arrested him twice in recent months.
Mario Quinonez, of Long Beach, pleaded not guilty to three counts of sales of a controlled substance, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago.
His case was presented to the district attorney’s office on October 12 by police, according to a release sent out today by the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD).
The investigation into Quinonez’s establishment—Rolli’s Smoke Shop, located at 2327 East Anaheim Street—began in May when officers with the Drug Investigations Section (DIS) “received information regarding drug sales” taking place at the business, officials stated.
During the DIS investigation, South Division patrol officers came across the same location on a separate investigation, and on August 17, patrol officers served a search warrant.
During the search, they found varying amounts of marijuana, concentrated cannabis, cocaine, Ecstasy pills, Xanax pills and psilocybin mushrooms as well as two handguns, a shotgun and ammunition. Police also arrested and charged Quinonez with possession of narcotics for sale and held him on $50,000 bail at Long Beach City Jail until he posted bail and was released.
The DIS continued their investigation after the arrest and, on September 26, served a second search warrant at Rolli’s Smoke Shop, according to officials.
During that search, police confiscated two pounds of marijuana and an ounce of cocaine. Quinonez, who was present at the time of the search, was again arrested and booked for sales of methamphetamine and possession for sale of marijuana. He was held on $60,000 bail.
In addition, Long Beach resident Miguel Angel Medina, 22, was also arrested and booked for possession for sale of cocaine and held on $30,000 bail.
Quinonez and Medina both then posted bail and were released.
Medina, who was also arraigned today, pleaded not guilty to one count of possession for sale of a controlled substance.
Both are scheduled back in court November 8 for a pre-hearing conference.