NEWS May 15th, 2017

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Three charged in violent Bayview pot shop robbery

Also face charges for dispensary robberies across southern Ontario

Pot shop robbery
Rodger Burnside/Streeter POT SHOTS: Bayview Avenue shop, Eden, which had been raided by police in October, has now been the victim of a daylight robbery on April 25.

A violent robbery at a Leaside marijuana dispensary has led to the arrests of three men.

Police say a group of men entered Eden Medicinal Society at 1625 Bayview Ave. on April 25 and took physical control of the employees.

The group was armed with a handgun, a taser and pepper spray, which they sprayed into the faces of employees and customers.

They took a quantity of marijuana and cash from the store and fled.

On April 29, Toronto Police’s Hold Up Squad, with assistance from Hamilton Police Service, arrested three men alleged to have been involved in the robbery of the Leaside dispensary, as well as another in Hamilton a week earlier.

Investigators allege the group had been conspiring to rob a third dispensary at the time of the arrest.

Stephen Souza, 19, of Mississauga is charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm, three counts of administering a noxious substance, two counts each of possession of a weapon and failing to comply with recognizance, and one count each of robbery, conspiracy to commit, and possession of a prohibited weapon — taser.

Median Jackson, 23, of Brampton, is charged with four counts of administering a noxious substance, two counts each of robbery with a firearm and possession of a weapon, and one count each of robbery and conspiracy to commit.

Jordell Nwagwu-Grant, 18, of no fixed addressed, is charged with three counts each of administering a noxious substance and possession of a weapon, two counts of robbery with a firearm, and one count each of robbery and conspiracy to commit.

Police also allege that Souza and two unknown males robbed a bank in Kitchener and another in Toronto near Royal York Road and Lawrence Avenue West on Oct. 26, 2016.

Police allege in both cases the suspects wore disguises and were armed with handguns. The bank employees were grabbed and terrorized by the suspects, who demanded money, which was obtained.

Police continue to attempt to identify the other two men.

Store recently raided by police

Eden Medicinal Society is no stranger to making local headlines.

The Town Crier reported late last year when the police conducted a raid of the dispensary Oct. 19.

Three people were charged in that raid, which came just days after Councillor Jon Burnside wrote a blog post asking for the store to be shut down.

Burnside, a former police officer, told the Town Crier at the time that the production of pot and the trade is largely controlled by organized crime and referred to the store operators as “drug dealers with fancy wallpaper” in his blog.

An informal survey of passersby in early November found a mixed response to the store at best, with most people not caring one way or the other about the store’s presence.