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Bremerton police: robbery ring targeted pot smokers

Three men arrested Wednesday on their way to a robbery are suspected of numerous armed robberies in the past two months targeting medical and illegal marijuana users.

Two Bremerton men, both 21, and a Poulsbo man, 22, were arrested at about 11 p.m. One of the Bremerton men had been released from prison in October after serving a sentence for robbing a Bremerton grocery store in 2008.

A statement from the Bremerton police Thursday said some of the victims in the string of a dozen or so Bremerton and Central Kitsap robberies starting Sept. 15, had been tied, shot at and pistol whipped.

The most serious injury required stitches, said Bremerton police Sgt. Kevin Crane, who declined to elaborate on how police knew beforehand the suspects were on their way to a robbery.

The investigation in ongoing.

Although marijuana is sometimes considered a drug with minor risks, Crane said the arrests show some of the people involved in illegal drugs are prone to violence.

"It can lead to major things such as this," he said.

During the investigation, detectives found the common thread between victims was their involvement in medical or illegal marijuana.

Police suspect there may be other victims who were unwilling to report robberies.

Police searched the suspect car shortly after their arrest and found two loaded handguns, one of which had been reported stolen. Investigators believe more suspects may have been involved in what was described as a "small criminal enterprise."

Those with information about the robberies can contact their local police, the statement said.

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