READ LAWSUIT HERE
Several local businesses have been added to a lawsuit against local governments and leaders in connection with the February 12, 2018 OPERATION CANDY CRUSH case when 23 Rutherford County businesses were shut-down for selling products that contained CBD.
The raids were completed under a court order and carried out by the Rutherford County Sheriffs Office, local agencies along with backing by the TBI, DEA and FBI. The businesses were padlocked after undercover agents allegedly bought candy that contained CBD.
The district attorney dropped the charges, as it reportedly was learned that it was not illegal to sell products containing CBD in Tennessee.
This lawsuit was filed by Cloud 9 Hemp owner James Swain Rieves and 16 other plaintiffs were added.
In the filing, Rieves claims that legal merchandise was seized which caused loss of business, serious mental and emotional distress, diminished reputation and standing in the community and other charges. The business owners felt that their civil rights had been violated, CLICK HERE for a copy of the lawsuit.
The lawsuit specifically states (#47): Rutherford County Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh and Smyrna Police Chief Kevin Arnold held a press conference, standing beside Rutherford County District Attorney Jennings Jones, where they gloated about "OPERATION CANDY CRUSH," and accused Mr. Rieves of selling illegal narcotics to children.
It continues (#50): The Plaintiff was required to abide by conditions of release and was required to hire lawyers, attend court and defend these charges.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff requests:
- That a jury of 12 persons be empaneled to try this case.
- A declaratory judgment that Defendants' conduct violated Plaintiff's protected constitutional rights.
- For nominal damages.
- For compensatory damages in the amount of $500,000.00.
- Reasonable attorney's fees and litigation expenses.
- Such other and general relief as the court deems just.
The lawsuit claims that Rieves' confiscated property was not returned until September, 2018.
This lawsuit was filed against Rutherford County District Attorney Jennings Jones, Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh, Smyrna Police Chief Kevin Arnold, along with Assistant DA John Zimmerman.