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PHOENIX -- Five people were arrested New Year's Eve on suspicion of operating an illegal marijuana dispensary, the Peoria Police Department said Tuesday.

Police said Pure Essentials, located in the 7000 block of Deer Valley Road, was leased as a health and weight loss facility.

"Our detectives found out...(that it may) have been operating as an illegal marijuana dispensary," said Peoria Police Public Information Officer Amanda Jacinto.

However, after being placed under surveillance, police determined that the owners were allegedly registering members with medical marijuana cards and allowing them to buy the drug for a set donation amount.

The business isn't approved by the Arizona Department of Health Services as a medical marijuana dispensary and its employees aren't licensed by ADHS as dispensary agents.

The business' owners, 39-year-old Joshua Hernandez and 28-year-old Kristina Tangolics, were arrested. In addition, three employees -- 22-year-old Robert Tangolics, 33-year-old Angela Maness and 22-year-old Andrew Knight -- were arrested. All were charged with conspiracy to distribute and the sale of marijuana.

Jacinto said a legal medical marijuana dispensary is scheduled to open in Peoria later this week.

KTAR's Martha Maurer and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

KTAR Newsroom,

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