It took all day and into the night for Tehama Interagency Drug Enforcement task force agents to cut, load, transport and destroy at least 500 full-grown marijuana plants seized during a bust on Thursday north of Corning.
Agents arrested eight people during the raid of an olive orchard at 5524 Houghton Ave. The property had an old single-wide mobile home and travel trailer on it as well as the pot garden.
Arrested were Adrian Faburrieta-Garcia, 28, Jorge Faurrieta, 37, Wooldro Garcia-Pineda, 36, and Neftali Botello Ortiz, 32, all of Exeter; Gabriel Torres-Villa, 27, and Loerdes Maulon Gonzalez, 40, both of Visalia; Juan Jose Jimenez-Jaramillo, 26, of Los Angeles; and Jose Garcia Ocon, 23, of Bell.
All eight suspects were booked into the Tehama County Jail on suspicion of cultivating marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale. Bail on each was set at $100,000.
According to a neighbor, the property is owned by a Stockton man, and she believed some of those arrested worked for the property owner.
The large garden was surrounded by a black plastic fence sitting in the middle of the orchard. The ready-to-harvest plants could be seen peeking over the fence from Finnell Avenue.
"We were alerted to the garden by a concerned citizen," said task force Commander Sgt. Dave Kain.
Agents arrested all of the suspects at the garden site, and while serving a search warrant on the property two firearms were found, one in the garden and another in a large barn, said task force Agent Ray Martinez.
"Both were easily accessible to the suspects," he said.
Martinez said the garden was not consistent with federal and state laws, and was out of compliance with a Tehama County ordinance regulating marijuana cultivation.
Inside the barn, agents said they found "a large amount" of processed marijuana and harvested marijuana being dried.
"We have yet to weigh the processed marijuana," Kain said, adding that could happen today.
The task force was assisted by the Corning police and the Tehama County Sheriff's Office in serving the warrant and seizing the plants.
by Julie R. Johnson - Corning Observer
Friday, Sep 7 2012, 6:47 pm
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