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Medical Marijuana Website Used for Robbery

Fresno Police arrested 23-year old Carlos Castanos. He's accused of luring in a man for a marijuana deal, then stealing thousands from the buyer.
Monday, Fresno Police arrested 23-year old Carlos Castanos at his home on Delbert Ave. near Polk and Bullard in northwest Fresno.

Costanos is accused of using a so-called medical marijuana website called BudTrader.com to lure in a buyer and then rob the man.

“It makes me feel a lot safer.  We've had some trouble in the neighborhood, so it's a relief,” said Natale, a neighbor.
     
Investigators say Castanos met up with a guy at Starbucks off Herndon and Golden State after arranging a deal online at BudTrader.com.  The website claims to be a safe place for medical marijuana services.  Buyers can get just about all the weed they need as long as they have a valid Prop 215 card.  

“The victim was going to pay $6,900 for a certain amount of high grade marijuana,” said Sgt. Carl McKnight, Fresno Police Dept.

But instead of handing over pot in the parking lot, Castanos and a partner allegedly pointed guns at the would-be buyer and then tased him several times.

“They ended up getting the victim's money and then fled in a vehicle which was parked down the street,” said Sgt. McKnight.

The victim was able to memorize the license plate and gave it to the cops.  Detectives found the car Monday, surrounded his house and got Costanos to surrender.

Costanos is no stranger to the law.  He's been convicted on an assault with a deadly weapon charge.
     
In fact he's was doing time in prison until the state let him out early as part of AB 109.

“I think that's an example of why something like that shouldn't be allowed,” said Natale.

Sgt. McKnight says it didn't take long for Castanos to get into the business of drug trafficking.

“I think one time maybe I've come across an individual that needed it for medical reasons.  They're turning it around and selling it to double their money,” said McKnight.

Police searched Castanos home and found a pot grow with about 60 plants.  However, he did not have a medical marijuana license.  Officers have not recovered any of the weapons used in this crime and they are still searching the second suspect who was involved.

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Fresno, CA

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