Lt. Patrick Foy, Law Enforcement Division, (916) 508-7095
A major multi-agency marijuana bust in the Sacramento River Delta has resulted in four arrests, the destruction of 9,010 plants and cleanup of 2,500 pounds of garbage, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reported.
Routine reconnaissance of the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta area identified a suspected illegal marijuana grow on the westernmost point of Grand Island. The Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigations Team (MAVMIT), headed by the California Department of Justice, conducted surveillance at the site and confirmed the presence of multiple growers.
On May 15, MAVMIT, the CDFW’s Marijuana Eradication Team (MET), the Delta Bay Enhanced Enforcement Program (DBEEP) and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department raided the site. They apprehended Juan Maciel, 35, Uriel Morales, 25, David Bailon, 28, and Cambrino Gutierrez, 25, all citizens of Mexico. All four suspects face charges of felony conspiracy, felony cultivation of marijuana, pollution crimes associated with marijuana cultivation and illegal diversion of water from the Delta. Officers also found two of the suspects in possession of $5,000 in cash. The suspected illicit proceeds were seized.
“In addition to the drug and pollution related crimes, the illegal diversion of water to irrigate 9,010 marijuana plants further exacerbates the drought conditions facing the state,” said CDFW Assistant Chief Brian Naslund.
Cleanup teams destroyed plants and dismantled the substantive infrastructure of the cultivation operation. Crews also collected an estimated 2,500 lbs. of garbage, including hundreds of pounds of fertilizers and pesticides.
Pictures and video of the cleanup are available at ftp://ftp.dfg.ca.gov/oceo.