The Mendocino Sheriff’s office announced the arrest of two men in a marijuana cultivation case at a rural property in inland Gualala. The small coastal town is mostly off of Highway 1 along the coast, but rural roads lead into the wooded foothills, where deputies found an active marijuana growing operation.
The case opened up when a young man was arrested last month for a robbery that had occurred in July. A traffic stop in Gualala led to the arrest of Aaron Rudd, who was accused of entering the S&B Market in Manchester, just north of Gualala, buying some ammunition, and stealing money and property from store employees. He was caught with a loaded gun, metal knuckles and stolen property. He was also found to have a warrant out on him from the state of Connecticut.
His arrest led to further investigation. Detectives discovered a connection to a property along Roseman Creek Road, about two and half miles inland, and about halfway between the main town of Gualala and Point Arena to the north. Sheriff’s Deputies, along with the SWAT team, arrived at the property at 8 am Tuesday to serve the warrant. They discovered an outdoor commercial marijuana growing operation with 94 marijuana plants.
The resident of the property, Timothy Steven Lepore, 36, was taken into custody. On his Facebook and Twitter accounts, Lepore says he is the owner of a business called Honeycombthc.com, and he appeared in Denver at the High Times Magazine’s Cannabis Cup, which promotes legal marijuana use. Honeycomb thc appears to be a form of concentrated cannabis in wax form, similar to honey oil or hash oil. (The web address for honeycombthc.com is not currently active.) Lepore posted photos of himself with young women (spokesmodels?) holding up what appears to be honeycomb at the Cannabis Cup “trade show”. Lepore was charged with marijuana cultivation, possession of marijuana for sale, and a felony probation violation. He is being held without bail at the Mendocino County Jail.
Also arrested on the property was Delaware resident Mark Paul George, 56 of the city of Townsend. He was also charged with marijuana cultivation and possession for sale. His bail was set at $25,000. George was apparently in Gualala to work with Lepore in the growing, and possible selling of marijuana or concentrated cannabis.