Lawsuit: 'Candy Crush' sting targeted owners for ethnicity

Posted at 1:49 PM, Dec 28, 2018

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — A lawsuit says authorities targeted Tennessee stores with owners of Egyptian heritage in the "Operation Candy Crush" sting focusing on candy and other products containing cannabidiol.

In February, 23 Rutherford County stores were padlocked and 21 people were indicted in connection with selling products infused with illegal controlled substances. All charges were later dropped when investigators couldn't determine if the cannabidiol was derived from marijuana or hemp.

Seventeen owners representing 19 targeted stores sued in October. An amended complaint filed Dec. 20 says 12 owners are of Egyptian descent. According to the complaint, prosecutor John Zimmerman said "all the people selling CBD in Rutherford County are foreigners."

The lawsuit says nearby businesses selling CBD products weren't targeted.

Attorneys for the defendants didn't respond to outlets' requests for comment.