Arrested STNC presidential candidate Arnie Abramyan maintains his innocence following Thursday’s arrest
By: Eddie Rivera, News Editor
Calling the charges “ridiculous,” and the search warrant “bogus,” Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council presidential candidate and business owner Arnie Abramyan maintained his innocence in an exclusive interview with The Foothill Record this evening.
Abramyan was arrested by LAPD officers at his shop, Munchies Mart, Thursday evening, and booked into the Van Nuys Jail just after midnight Friday. He was charged with felony possession of marijuana for sale, and released on a bond of $100,000 early Friday morning. His home and shop were searched and laptops and cell phones were seized.
He met with members of his campaign slate, “Moving Sunland-Tujunga Forward” Friday evening, and said that they are continuing to support him despite the arrest.
At first reluctant to speak about the charges, on the advice of his attorney, Abramyan emphasized that he is “innocent until proven guilty,” and that he is continuing with his candidacy.
“As my attorney mentioned to me today, all of the talk and rumors about me online are ‘public persecution’ and are dangerous, and irresponsible, since they could eventually influence a jury,” he said.
“Those people who are going to vote for me, will vote for me,” he said. “That won’t change.”
“This (arrest) is really just a personal attack on me,” he continued. While Abramyan’s mother owns a building which houses a licensed marijuana dispensary on Foothill Boulevard, one of several in the area, Abramyan claims no involvement in it.
“I am the face of the company, so I am the scapegoat, the target,” he said.
“I am part of the management team that manages that property,” Abramyam continued, “I don’t work there.”
“I think the timing is odd,” he said, coming as it did on the eve of the STNC election.
Abramyan said he was originally given a $50,000 bond, but that it was increased when officers found more than 50 pounds of marijuana. “They told me that, but I never saw any 50 pounds of marijuana.”
Abramyan also questioned the fact that police “told me that I was being watched over the last few months. If they were watching me, then they didn’t see anything.”
“This is all so ridiculous,” he insisted. “I could still be elected president and serve my two-year term with the case still not having been decided.”
Foothill Narcotics Division detectives were unavailable for comment this evening, and according to an LAPD desk sergeant, it is “unlikely they will discuss this case.”
Abramyan, who has not yet been arraigned, is due in Valley Superior Court April 29.