This report just in from Trib Live who write…..It appears Patriot Shield won’t be returning to Jeannette this fall to dry and process hemp.
Here at CLR we reported on their behaviour earlier in the year over a number of articles where it transpired they were not paying workers, not complying with regulations and more to boot
Former Employees At Jeannette Hemp-Drying Facility, Patriot Shield Security, Claim They Have Not Been Paid In Weeks
Also here are some videos the company used to promote themselves. Not sure we’d trust a bunch of gun toting ZZ Top Lookalikes to do anything for us
So what is Andrew’s top skill ?
According to his linked in
Andrew Ross (“Ross”) is an experienced entrepreneur, business consultant and cannabis security expert with projects across the globe. As a true pioneer, he founded one of the first cannabis specific security companies in the US and now has over seven years of experience in the space and has written security plans (both pre and post application) for dozens of clients under multiple regulating agencies. Currently, he is involved in cannabis security operations in Colorado, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and California as well as secure transportation for industrial hemp across the U.S. Ross also focuses on helping his clients with sourcing or selling hemp and marijuana products where applicable.
Prior to taking a position as the Chief Executive Officer of Patriot Shield, Ross was the Director of Sales for Helix TCS, Inc. (“OTC: HLIX”) and all subsidiaries including; Cannabase, BOSS High Level Protection (“Boss”), Secure Transport Service, and Engeni Digital Marketing. Ross was with Helix prior to the company’s IPO in 2016, and helped them significantly increase annual revenue before he left the company in 2017. He led sales and expansion initiatives across several business lines and states, and helped develop and implement several new business lines and services.
Before joining Helix, Ross founded Boss Security Solutions, Inc., one of the first cannabis-focused security firms in the nation, which was acquired by Helix after only two years in operation.
I know we are all meant to love veterans for their service etc but as in any part of life there are always badduns..
He is also a U.S. Marine Corps veteran with multiple overseas deployments to the Middle East—Iraq and Afghanistan—where the network, skills, and discipline he uses in business were formed, laying the groundwork for his entrepreneurial career.
It is all over now….
Inspections by the state Department of Environmental Protection on July 29 and Aug. 6 showed “all equipment related to Patriot Shield’s operation had been removed” from a Thomas Avenue warehouse and there was no hemp or hemp-related work going on, said Lauren Fraley, department spokeswoman.
Mayor Curtis Antoniak was happy to hear that. Patriot Shield’s beleaguered facility was the subject of shutdown orders from the city and state, odor complaints from residents and protests from workers who weren’t being paid over a few months in late 2019. The company has not made any payments on a $29,000 fine from the DEP.
“I’m glad the city stayed on them to close their facility,” Antoniak said. “With the pace that the city’s on, we didn’t need that.”
Patriot Shield started operating in the warehouse in September without getting an occupancy permit or building inspection from the city. Farmers brought their hemp crop there to be dried into smokable hemp flowers, which taste like marijuana but lack the THC necessary to get users high.
Neighbors complained about the odor that emanated from the warehouse for weeks. It brought up to 200 jobs, but many workers started protesting outside of the building after not receiving paychecks.
That issue still has not been rectified, two former employees told the Tribune-Review. The state Department of Labor and Industry’s Bureau of Labor Law Compliance performed an audit of the company, according to a letter obtained by the Trib. The department did not respond to a request for comment about the pay situation.
Tammy McCann hopes to see Patriot Shield held responsible, but she’s stopped waiting for the $900 she said the company owes her. The paycheck could come in handy as money’s been tight lately.
“If I get the check in the mail one day, hallelujah, but I can’t count on it,” she said.
Cameron Trice also is waiting for pay he earned. Patriot Shield’s time in Jeannette should not be ignored by its customers in other parts of the country, he said. Colorado-based Patriot Shield operates in several states, providing transportation and security for hemp and cannabis businesses.
“I think it makes the company look extremely bad, and nobody should be doing business with them with the way they treated their employees,” Trice said.
Neither Patriot Shield nor Herzl Capital responded to requests for comment. The warehouse is owned by Herzl Real Estate.
While employees were in an uproar, the DEP issued notices of odor violation in mid-October after neighborhood complaints. The city followed up with cease-and-desist orders. The DEP ordered Patriot Shield to stop operations on Dec. 2. The company would be in violation if it resumed operations without getting an occupancy permit, said city solicitor Tim Witt.
The city and DEP asked Patriot Shield to submit plans detailing improvements to the building in order to obtain permits to continue operating. Those plans never were received. Under a December consent agreement, Patriot Shield was ordered to pay $29,000 in civil penalties. Fraley said the agreement remains an “open enforcement matter” and declined additional comment.
Patriot Shield has not gotten a permit from the state Department of Agriculture to operate a hemp processing facility.
FC Meyer Packaging in Jeannette sued Patriot Shield in February after its recycled paperboard products reportedly were contaminated by the odor. The two companies shared space in the warehouse last year. Court arguments in the case are set for Oct. 13.
Meanwhile, former workers have been waiting nearly a year for back wages that may never come. Patriot Shield officials told the Tribune-Review last year that their financial affairs were ‘close’ to being in order and encouraged employees to stick around.
“They hurt a lot of people,” said McCann, one of the former employees. “I hope they get everything that’s coming their way.”
Aurora man among 4 people accused of trafficking massive pot shipment (but police aren’t sure it’s pot)
A man from Colorado was one of the four people arrested in what Oklahoma officials say could be the biggest pot bust in their state’s history – if the substance is, in fact, pot.
Police in Pawhuska, Okla., pulled over a semi-truck and a van following behind it when the drivers ran a red light last Wednesday, according to an arrest affidavit from Osage County District Court. Per the document, the officer that stopped the vehicles could smell marijuana as she approached.
Twenty-nine-year-old Andrew Ross, from Aurora, was driving the van. He explained to the officer that he and the van’s passenger, 31-year-old David Dirksen from Michigan, were working as security guards for the semi, the affidavit said. Ross told investigators that the semi needed such protection because it was hauling thousands of pounds of industrial hemp – made legal to transport over state lines when President Trump signed off on the 2018 farm bill.
The arresting officer wrote in her report that Ross cooperated with her and opened the truck, revealing a leafy green substance. According to Pawhuska Police, results from a field test showed it could be marijuana.
Police seized everything from the truck – 60 boxes of the product. Per police, it all weighed more than 20,000 pounds, but an attorney in the case said it could weigh anywhere from 17,000 to 20,000 pounds. Officers also found a 9mm pistol in the van, according to the affidavit.
Officers then arrested Ross and Dirksen, as well as the people in the semi, 33-year-old Farah Warsame from Ohio, and 51-year-old Tadesse Deneke from Alabama. They were charged with trafficking more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana. Ross and Dirksen also face gun charges, for allegedly possessing a gun during the commission of a felony.
Ross and Dirksen work for Patriot Shield, a veteran-owned company that provides security services for people in the cannabis industry. This job was bringing them to Colorado, where they’d deliver the product to Panacea Life Sciences in Louisville.
Panacea’s president, Jamie Baumgartner, told 9NEWS that he ordered hemp months ago, and his team, along with the shipping company he contracted, spoke with several state governments before this delivery to ensure everything would go smoothly. Despite the law, some states did say they wouldn’t allow their delivery, Baumgartner and Ross told 9NEWS. They thought the route through Oklahoma would be fine.
“Really nobody has any idea what they are dealing with, which is really the problem,” Ross said. “Even though it’s legal… They have no idea what they are doing.”
Ross said he watched law enforcement test the hemp on the scene, which did test positive for THC, as industrial hemp would. However, to be considered hemp, the product must have no more than three-tenths of a percent of THC.
Ross contends officers told him and Dirksen they could leave multiple times until officers from the Drug Enforcement Agency arrived on scene.
“If we are drug traffickers, we are literally the worst drug traffickers ever,” Ross said. “We sat there after being told to leave the scene and waited to get arrested.”
Baumgartner provided 9NEWS with a copy of the documentation on this shipment. His records show the product does fit the definition of hemp.
As for the 60 boxes of product, there’s a surefire way to clear up the confusion: give it an official test. The DEA told Tulsa World that the substance is in Washington, D.C. awaiting a formal examination. It’s unclear how the ongoing shutdown of the federal government might affect that.
Trevor Reynolds represents the people in the semi truck, who remain in jail. He believes that the shutdown is slowing down the testing process.
“I would say that this is the state of Oklahoma overreaching in their mandate to defend the state from illegal drugs,” he said. “The issue here is jumping the gun and not taking the documentation that came with the load at face value.”
According to Reynolds, there’s no way his clients would have known they were transporting marijuana, if that is the case. He said only the security team has a key to access the product on the truck.
If found guilty of aggravated trafficking of marijuana, the punishment could range from 15 years to life in prison.
“I’m looking at 15 years to life and a $500,000 fine, literally doing a legal-compliant job,” Ross said while eating dinner, waiting to fly back to Denver. “It’s completely absurd.”