Photo: Anthony Traversa
December 26, 2020 – Ventura County, Ca.
Lockwood Valley, in the northernmost reaches of Ventura County, is a sparsely- populated area where residents can enjoy being close to nature…or take illicit advantage of the fact that there aren’t many cops around.
That may have been the thinking of 30-year-old Lockwood Valley resident Anthony Traversa and 27-year-old Newhall resident Machella Miller when they decided to push the limits of California’s recently relaxed approach to the laws involving marijuana
possession and use. But that new official attitude toward marijuana falls short of allowing unlicensed cultivation of cannabis and doesn’t permit the unlicensed processing of cannabis products or their illegal derivatives.
The manufacture of “butane honey oil,” which involves the use of dangerously volatile chemicals is strictly proscribed by law, as are the sales of such substances.
Given that, on the morning of December 23rd , the Ventura County Narcotics Street Team, working in concert with the California National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, served a search warrant on Traversa’s residence based upon suspicions that he was conducting illegal marijuana cultivation.
What the cops discovered included not only an illegal grow, but a butane honey oil operation and evidence of illegal drug sales. A search of the premises lead to the seizure of “over four pounds of butane honey oil wax, over 28 pounds of marijuana, 300 vape cartridges, 11 firearms, and over $40,000 in currency.”
Traversa and Miller were taken into custody and transported to Ventura County Jail, where they were booked on charges of illegal marijuana cultivation, operation of a butane honey oil lab, and multiple weapons violations. Bail for each of them was set at $50,000.
Photos: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department