$200K Marijuana Grow Hidden in Almond Tree Orchard

DENAIR — On July 3rd, Stanislaus Drug Enforcement agents, as well as agents from Central Valley HIDTA, CAL-MMET, Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security ran across a large marijuana grow operation spread over 1200 acres of almond trees in the area of Hall Road and Monte Vista Ave just east of Denair.

Approximate location of orchard

Agents eradicated over 15,000 plants which had been cleverly planted between the trees, though a second grow was later discovered within the same orchard.

Just under a week later, on July 9th, agents eradicated another 23,000 plants for a total of 38,000 — an estimated street value of approximately $200,000 — over the course of the two-day operation.

Suspects Jesus Meraz Alvarez (56) of Washington, and transients Elian Mendoza Gallardo (31) and Mendoza Jesus Torres (29) were arrested on charges of cultivation of marijuana and placed under an ICE hold for having entered the country illegally.

While the case is still under investigation, the property owners have since been contacted and were unaware of the grow operation.

Anyone with information regarding this case or suspicious activity is encouraged to contact the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency at (209) 558-6300 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Calls to Crime Stoppers are anonymous with possible eligibility for a cash reward. Tips may also be e-mailed at http://www.modestopolice.com/CrimeStoppers or via text to 274637 — simply type “TIP704” followed by a short message.

Read more:

Turlock City News: Stanislaus Sheriff’s Deputies Seize 38,000 Marijuana Plants Near Denair

Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department press release (via Nixle)

$200K Marijuana Grow Hidden in Almond Tree Orchard was last modified: July 11th, 2013 by admin
Categories: Stanislaus