Thirteen Suspects Arrested in Cahuilla Indian Reservation Marijuana Cultivation Raid
HEMET – After spotting a marijuana farm from the air, Sheriff’s deputies executed two warrants and shut down the operation.
When a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s helicopter pilot spotted two marijuana grows on the Cahuilla Indian Reservation, the department drafted and executed two warrants for locations in the 39400 Block of Cary Road and 49900 Block of Puckit Drive. The Cahuilla Reservation, founded in 1875, is located in Anza, encompasses 18,884 acres, and is governed by a democratically elected tribal council. The tribe contracts the Riverside Sheriff’s Department for services.
The warrants were served on Thursday, July 23, 2015. According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Department, a total of 11,048 marijuana plants were seized and eradicated from both locations. Deputies also recovered a stolen assault rifle and a 45-caliber handgun, and the possession of Ecstasy pills for sales at the Cary Road location.
Deputies arrested a total of 13 suspects involved in the illegal operation. The following suspects were booked into the Southwest Detention Center for felony commercial marijuana cultivation:
Ruth Whipple, 53, of the Cahuilla Indian Reservation
Christine Salgado, 50, of the Cahuilla Indian Reservation
Michael Ramirez, 26, of the Cahuilla Indian Reservation
Franco Barreto Salgado, 38, of Perris
Antonio Nieto-Valasquez, 26, of Romoland
Elias Guadalupe Villa-Padilla, 25, of Winton
Jose Luis Luviano Zarragoza, 29, of Vancouver, WA
Rigoberto Moreno-Ambriz, 30, of Orange Cove
Elizar Ruiz, 20, of Anza
Amondo Moreno, 22, of Anza
Santiago Flores, 36, of Anza
Antonio Vega Jr., 42, Rio Dell. (Possession of stolen assault rifle and weapons violation)
Alexander Almazan Harrison, 27, of Anza (Possession of Ecstasy for sales)
Anyone with additional information about this case is encouraged to contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Marijuana Enforcement Team at 951-955-1720.
Photos courtesy of Riverside County Sheriff’s Department