Ventura County – It’s well known that California is a veritable “bread basket” of agricultural production. From the citrus groves of Southern California, through the vast row crops and almond orchards of the Central Valley, the state remains—in spite of a record-shattering period of drought—among the most fertile land on the planet. Even with the state’s advantages of arable land and plentiful sunlight, however, some engaged in agricultural endeavors prefer to raise their crops indoors, with artificial lights, and away from the prying eyes of law enforcement.
Apparently, Bruce Kohler, a 61-year-old resident of Simi Valley is just such a “private” farmer. Evidence of this came just after noon on Friday, October 23rd, according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Jose Rivera, when “the Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit concluded a month-long investigation” into Kohler’s agricultural activities by serving a search warrant upon his residence, which is near Royal High School. The fruit (so to speak) of that search was the discovery of “numerous marijuana plants in various stages of growth” at Kohler’s home, several rooms of which had been converted into active marijuana processing areas.
Pursuant to the search, approximately 200 pounds of marijuana—the bulk of which had been packaged for sales—was seized, along with several thousand dollars in cash suspected to be the proceeds of illegal marijuana sales. It was also determined that Kohler had been processing “honey oil” through a volatile process of extracting tetrahydrocannabinol from the unprocessed marijuana plant material.
Kohler was arrested at the scene and transported to Ventura County Jail, where he was booked on charges of cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and manufacturing concentrated cannabis, with his bail set at $50,000.