RIVERSIDE COUNTY – In the last two weeks, authorities have busted two more marijuana grow operations in a series of shutdowns.
After discovering an illegal marijuana farm from the air, authorities began an investigation. The cultivation site was positioned in a natural wash located in the foothills off State Highway 60, entering into the Badlands, east of Moreno Valley. Riverside Sheriff’s deputies began seeking the perpetrators in the area. On Wednesday, August 5, a search warrant was served, and the expansive property was deemed abandoned.
According to a press release, a total of 5,534 mature marijuana plants were seized and eradicated from the property. The plants averaged 8-12 feet in height, and were said to be concealed within the natural vegetation in the wash.
The Department reported that the rugged terrain, in addition to the monster-sized marijuana plants, ultimately required the assistance of the Sheriff’s Department’s helicopter to hoist the plants out of the foothills for eradication. Currently, there are no arrests or suspects identified in this case.
Previous to this bust, on July 29, deputies assigned to the Jurupa Valley Police Department’s Special Enforcement Team, along with Jurupa Valley Code Enforcement discovered suspicious activity during a compliance check.
On the 1700 block of Container Circle in Jurupa Valley, a search warrant was obtained for a business found to be non-compliant. According to the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, 52-year-old Toby Shultz was arrested for illegal marijuana cultivation. Shultz was booked at Robert Presley Detention Center.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department states that they will continue to investigate all reports of marijuana cultivation and eradicate those determined to be operating illegally. Community members with helpful information are encouraged to contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Marijuana Enforcement Team at (951) 955-1720.