A federal judge in a recent court opinion criticized tactics used by drug enforcement agents following a raid earlier this year on a dozen Ziggyz pipe shops in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
The stores' owner, Chelsey Davis, accuses the Drug Enforcement Agency of threatening his landlords, causing many to pull leases, shuttering some stores and risking the closure of others.
Davis filed a lawsuit July 1 in federal court in Oklahoma City.
“The government may not attack what it views as illegal activity by simply putting someone out of business, through ‘leaning' on their landlords or customers or other backdoor means,” U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton wrote in an order dated Aug. 18.
The judge's order bars federal agents from contacting Ziggyz landlords or pursuing civil forfeiture proceedings against them until the lawsuit is settled. He previously had issued the same restrictions, but on a temporary basis.