A Milton woman was arrested yesterday on a federal charge that she ran a large-scale retail pot company that offered same-day home delivery and employed 25 people at a Hyde Park warehouse before it was shut down in a raid on Aug. 2.
Deana Martin, 51, was charged in US District Court with one count of conspiring to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, the US Attorney's office in Boston reports.
Public court records do not specify where the Hyde Park warehouse that Martin used for her Northern Herb company was. However, an affidavit by a DEA agent on the case notes that Martin used a box at the Readville post office as one of several in the area for accepting deliveries of marijuana and pot products from growers in California and Oregon. Readville, which is full of warehouse space, is also close to Martin's home near Curry College.
According to the affidavit, Martin, who had previously run a string of unsuccessful baking and catering companies, proved pretty adept at the marijuana business, at least until the raids on her warehouse and home - she allegedly grossed $15 million between 2015 and August 2, 2018 by offering same-day delivery in eastern and central Massachusetts for people who ordered before 2 p.m.
On Aug. 2, federal agents found Martin at the Hyde Park warehouse, her 2017 Porsche Boxster parked outside. They also found $40,000 in cash there, and more than $114,000 at her Milton home, as well as a variety of marijuana strains and products - many already put into paper bags for customer delivery, the affidavit states. According to the affidavit, Martin listed monthly income of $80,000 in an application for a lease on a potential marijuana grow facility in California.
Up until the raids, done sometime after 1:03 p.m., when the company posted its last tweet, Martin had contracts with credit-card processing and point-of-sale companies, a corportate logo and a full-time office manager. She offered incentives to her sales staff based on how many pounds of marijuana they moved each month and periodically offered customers "a free gram of flower with every order." Three days before the raid, she also offered a 10% discount - and a further 10% donation to the American Cancer Society - to any customer who mentioned "the first name and last initial and the type of cancer of suffered by someone you know in your order notes."
Martin, the feds say, even compiled a written employee handbook setting out various job requirements, including one directing that "[c]urrency should be organized by denomination then made into $5000 stacks to be vac-sealed and stored." But since this was a company that complied with neither federal nor state marijuana laws, the handbook also had worst-case instructions, such as telling employees that "if arrested, they were to call Martin or Person 1 immediately."
The affidavit alleges Martin paid workers in cash and never paid any taxes herself to the IRS - and used a separate company to launder some of the sales proceeds.
Although the affidavit lists such alleged violations of federal law, it devotes a fair amount of space to detailing how she also allegedly violated Massachusetts marijuana laws - she had no licensing from the state to sell either medicinal or recreational marijuana.
Some of the cartridges offered on the company Twitter feed. :