Nearly $5 million worth of marijuana seized from illegal grow sites in Calaveras County – CBS Sacramento

WEST POINT (CBS13) — Investigators seized nearly $5 million worth of marijuana from illegal grow sites in Calaveras County during the month of June, authorities said Monday.

The estimated total street value of the marijuana seized was $4,942,700, including 4,192 growing plants and 196 pounds of processed marijuana from at least seven different addresses, the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office said in A press release. See several photos of the grow sites below.

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The first bust took place on June 3. The sheriff’s office said its marijuana enforcement unit issued a search warrant for illegal marijuana cultivation on Acorn Way in Point West. Items seized included 270 plants, 103 pounds of processed pot and 121 ounces of hash oil, all with an estimated street value of $237,700.

Additionally, investigators found three firearms, including two ghost guns, and cited one person at the scene. Nicholle Thomas, 28, a West Point resident, was cited on various drug and firearms charges.

A week later, on June 10, a search warrant was served along Arapaho Way in Burson. Investigators uncovered the interior of the residence and a separate structure was converted into an indoor grow site, the sheriff’s office said. Deputies located and seized 805 plants and 20 pounds of processed weeds worth $1,046,000.

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Several hazards were found at the Arapaho Way site, including electrical hazards and severe mold, authorities said. The sheriff’s office said the investigation into this site is still ongoing.

Two separate search warrants were served on June 17. At an address on Sawyer Road, the Marijuana Enforcement Unit located and seized 782 plants with $782,000. Jaruin Ramirez Brijido, 37, of West Point, was cited for illegal cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale. On Fullen Way in Murphys, deputies located and seized 558 plants worth $558,000.

The sheriff’s office said the June 17 search warrants were unrelated.

Jian Rong Chen of Angels Camp was cited when deputies served a search warrant in the town of Riata Way on June 24. There were 522 plants and 15 pounds of processed grass worth $691,000 was seized during this operation. Deputies discovered that the interior of this residence had also been converted into an indoor grow facility.

The sheriff’s office said Chen was cited for illegal cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and conspiracy.

Five days later, on June 29, deputies served search warrants at two separate locations.

The first was on Leonard Way in San Andreas. Deputies seized 72 plants and 58 pounds of processed marijuana worth $91,000. A firearm was also recovered from the scene, authorities said. Additionally, deputies discovered that water used for the grow site was being diverted from West Murray Creek. The sheriff’s office said the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has engaged in a collaborative investigation into the matter.

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On Del Sol Lane in San Andreas, deputies located and recovered 1,183 plants worth $1,537,000. The sheriff’s office said the interior of a large store structure was converted into an indoor grow facility.