Merced City Council candidate arrested for felony warrants out of Stanislaus County

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In the midst of a Merced City Council election Lakisha Jenkins, a candidate for district one, was arrested on Tuesday. (KFSN)

In the midst of a Merced City Council election Lakisha Jenkins, a candidate for district one, was arrested on Tuesday.

Jenkins was booked into the county jail for felony warrants out of Stanislaus County. She is accused of several criminal charges, some include tax evasion, along with possession of more than a pound of marijuana for sale.

We tried speaking to Jenkins as she walked out of the Merced Superior Courthouse, but she refused to speak on the incident.

Police said this started last year when the department received complaints about Jenkins running dispensaries in town.

"She's basically refused to comply with any of our requests to shut her dispensary down because we didn't have allowances for dispensaries at the time," said Captain Matt Williams, Merced Police Department.

After several attempts to ask Jenkins to shut down her business, the case snowballed. Police said the state board of equalization then got involved in the investigation.

"We just wanted to bring her into compliance, but she refused to do so. That's what caused the case to move forward criminally," said Williams.

Some of Jenkins opponents spoke out-- Sonia Alshami sent us a statement saying, "Obviously, we are all innocent until proven guilty and I certainly hope that the allegations of animal cruelty, felony tax evasion, and drug dealing turn out to be false. People who run for public office need to set a positive example for children like my young daughter."

Anthony Martinez, another candidate for District one, said, "She seems passionate about her district so that's really unfortunate that had to happen, I wish her all the best."

Jenkins currently has an active case with the Merced County District Attorney involving a criminal charge of failure to care for an animal.

Jenkins is expected back in court on October 18th for arraignment on that criminal charge, along with several other charges for unlawfully operating or allowing commercial cannabis activity in the city.

According to the City Clerk's Office, a City Council member cannot serve if they are convicted of a felony. Since Jenkins has not been convicted, she can still run. However, if she is later convicted, she can't hold the position, or it will become vacant if she's elected.
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