Sacto 9-1-1
November 6, 2013
Marijuana growing operation discovered near Roseville park

vizcarra_giovanni_anthony.jpgA 26-year-old man was taken into custody Tuesday after Roseville police discovered an extensive indoor marijuana growing operation in a house across the street from a neighborhood park.

Detectives with the department's Vice and Narcotics Enfrocement Team began an investigation after receiving complaints from neighbors about a strong odor emanating from a house in the 9500 block of Highland Park Drive. They served a search warrant Tuesday and found that most of the space in the two-story house was being used to grow and process marijuana, according to a Police Department news release.

Detectives seized approximately 200 marijuana plants, packaging materials and other evidence related to marijuana cultivation and sales. They also found that power for the operation was obtained by illegally cutting into pre-metered electrical services coming into the house, stealing electricity from Roseville Electric's grid.

The resident, Giovanni Anthony Vizcarra (pictured) was arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana for sale and related offenses, as well as theft of utility services. He has been released from jail on a $20,000 bail bond.

October 31, 2013
Two men arrested after marijuana found in vehicle at I-5 rest stop

Two men were arrested at an Interstate 5 rest stop in Yolo County after 30 pounds of marijuana reportedly were found in their vehicle.

About 8:20 a.m. Wednesday, a Yolo County sheriff's deputy contacted the two men, who were in a vehicle parked at the southbound Tony Diaz Memorial Rest Stop along I-5. The deputy detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the inside and rear bed of the vehicle. A search of the vehicle turned up several large duffel bags containing 30 1-pound bags of individually packaged marijuana and 21 non-prescribed Vicodin tablets, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Eric Martin Scott, 22, of San Jose, and Adam Gabriel Barrett, 26, of Lancaster, were arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana, and offering to sell or furnish marijuana. Scott also is accused of possessing a controlled substance.

Both men were booked into the Yolo County Jail on Wednesday, and each was subsequently released on $50,000 bail. They are to be arraigned in Yolo County Superior Court on Nov. 27.

October 17, 2013
CHP: 100 pounds of marijuana discovered during traffic stop

pot 1.jpgA 23-year-old Illinois man is in custody in Placer County after 100 pounds of marijuana allegedly were discovered in his Jeep Cherokee during a traffic stop in Auburn, according to authorities.

Eduardo Angeles Jr. was arrested on suspicion of multiple charges, including possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana for sale, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Dave Martinez.

A CHP officer doing speed enforcement on Interstate 80 near Dry Creek Road stopped Angeles after the officer observed his Jeep Cherokee travelling about 90 miles per hour, Martinez said.

pot 2.jpgUpon contacting Angeles, who was the only person in the car, the officer "could smell the strong odor of marijuana from within the vehicle," Martinez wrote in a news release. Further investigation with the help of the Placer County Sheriff's Department's Special Investigation Unit revealed the marijuana.

Martinez said Angeles was headed back to Illinois when he was stopped.

Angeles was booked into the Placer County Jail.

October 15, 2013
Vehicle stop near Dunnigan yields 59 pounds of marijuana

A Vallejo man landed in Yolo County Jail after he was stopped for a vehicle code violation and a search of his vehicle turned up 59 pounds of marijuana.

About 1:30 p.m. Monday, a Yolo County sheriff's deputy stopped the vehicle at County Road 6 and Interstate 5 in Dunnigan. The deputy noticed the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, prompting the search, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

John Harrison Bedenfield, 35, was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana hashish for sale. He was booked into Yolo County Jail with bail set at $135,000. He is to be arraigned Thursday in Yolo County Superior Court.

October 5, 2013
Sacramento deputies arrest three, discover marijuana grow after shoplifting incident

NIK.YAKIMENKOx2976153 (1).jpgSacramento County sheriff's deputies arrested a 40-year-old man today following a shoplifting incident at Wal-Mart in which a suspect brandished a Taser at a loss prevention officer, according to authorities.

Deputies arrested Nikolayevi Yakimenko on suspicion of robbery as well as an unrelated charge of cultivation of marijuana after a grow was found at his home, sheriff's Sgt. Lisa Bowman said in a news release. Both are felonies.

The incident began about 6 a.m., when a loss prevention officer at a Wal-Mart on Antelope Road attempted to detain two people suspected of shoplifting, Bowman said.

The suspects resisted, and one brandished a Taser at the officer, threatening to hurt him if he followed, Bowman said.

NAT.YAKIMENKOx3180555.jpgThe loss prevention officer wrote down the license plate of the vehicle the suspects used to get away and contacted the Sheriff's Department. When deputies arrived at the registered owner's home, the suspect vehicle was parked nearby, Bowman said.

Deputies were trying to make contact at the home when four people ran from the home. Three were caught; one was Yakimenko, Bowman said.

Deputies also arrested Igor Ivanov, 29, in connection with outstanding warrants and Natalya Yakimenko, 40. She was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor resisting arrest and felony cultivation of marijuana.

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September 13, 2013
Five arrested in Butte County after searches turn up marijuana growing operations

Butte County sheriff's officials announced the arrest of five people in connection with marijuana growing operations after search warrants were served at two locations earlier this week.

On Wednesday, deputies from the Butte County Sheriff's Office-Special Enforcement Unit executed a search warrant in the 12700 block of Center Gap Road in the Chico area. They located Cara Maarie Henry, 32, and Evan Douglas Anderson, 28, both of Chico, at the residence, and both were detained, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

A search of the residence turned up a butane honey oil lab consisting of marijuana, butane, extraction tubes, coffee filters, a hot plate and a vacuum machine, officials said. Several Pyrex-type dishes containing butane hone oil residue were inside the house.

September 10, 2013
Four arrested at Dunnigan rest stop after methamphetamine found in vehicle

Four people are in jail after Yolo County sheriff's deputies reported finding them in a parked vehicle with an estimated $16,000 worth of methamphetamine.

Deputies found the four about 11: 15 p.m. Sunday in a vehicle parked at the Interstate 5 rest stop in Dunnigan. The deputies detected the odor of marijuana coming from inside and were granted permission to search the vehicle. During the search, they found more than 446 grams of methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of $16,000, and a small amount of marijuana, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Jorge Luis Flores, 27, Kyle Justin Farmer, 19, and Marie Felix Gamez, 23, of Corning and Brandon Joseph Farmer, 19, of Clements were booked into Yolo County Jail on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, transport for sale of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Bail for each was set at $200,000, and all are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

August 28, 2013
Two arrested in raid on marijuana garden in Plumas National Forest

The Butte County Sheriff's Office reported that two people were arrested and more than 3,000 marijuana plants seized during a raid Tuesday of an illegal marijuana growing operation near Jordan Creek in the Plumas National Forest.

The early morning raid was conducted by the Sheriff's Office's Special Enforcement Unit, the U.S. Forest Service and the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force.

Upon entering the marijuana garden, deputies located several thousand marijuana plants being grown by a suspected drug trafficking operation, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

July 24, 2013
Authorities say water shortages may account for abandoned marijuana gardens

Water shortages may have caused marijuana growers to abandon their crops days before Butte County law enforcement officers raided their gardens.

The Butte County Sheirff's Office Special Enforcement Unit conducted early morning raids Tuesday on two suspected drug trafficking organization marijuana grows in the county's mountain areas. Both gardens were found through the use of the Sheriff's Office's helicopter, according to a news release.

The first raid was conducted in the Concow area near Dogwood Creek. Deputies searched the marijuana garden but were unable to find any suspects. Deputies did discover a large camp area that they said appeared to have been ravaged by bears and other animals.

July 19, 2013
Two arrested, marijuana plants seized at grow site near Winters

Winters marijuana grow.jpgTwo men were arrested and 2,658 marijuana plants were seized in a law enforcement raid on a marijuana growing operation west of Winters.

Mark Michilizzi, a warden with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said several containers of gasoline, several forms of fertilizer ,and an illegal and highly toxic form of pesticide imported from Mexico also were found at the site near the banks of Putah Creek.

The raid was carried out about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday by agents from the multi-agency Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team, the Yolo Narcotic Enforcement Team and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

June 21, 2013
Man arrested in raid on marijuana garden near Georgetown

Omar Ruiz Talauera 13J06271.JPGEDC marijuana grow photo (14).JPGA 21-year-old man was arrested this morning at the site of a marijuana growing operation on U.S. Forest Service lands in the Georgetown area.

The West El Dorado Narcotics Enforcement Team, along with the Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigations Team, this morning entered the marijuana growing site on public lands north of Stumpy Meadows Lake, east of Georgetown. When investigators entered the garden area, a man dressed in camouflage ran from the garden and attempted to evade officers, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff's Office news release.

Deputies suffered minor injuries in their attempt to catch the man, who was apprehended. Although a handgun was found in a nearby makeshift camp, no shots were fired, officials said.

June 20, 2013
Four arrested, $2 million in marijuana seized in Elk Grove raid

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Anthony Uasuarez mugshot.jpgJorge Vargas-Garcia mugshot.jpgJose Estrada mugshot.jpgRuben Garcia mugshot.jpgFour men have been arrested and $2 million in marijuana seized in a raid on a pot grow at the Stone Lakes preserve near Elk Grove.

In the raid on Tuesday, agents arrested Anthony Uasiarez (pictured top left), 34, and Ruben Guzman (bottom right), 18, both of Mexico, and Jorge Vargas Garcia (top right), 22, and Jose Estrada (bottom left), 23, both of Tulare County.

Agents seized more than 7,000 marijuana plants, 100 pounds of marijuana, two 12-guage shotguns and a handgun.

June 19, 2013
Men sought in marijuana-related robbery in Amador County

The Amador County Sheriff's Office is trying to find three men in connection with an armed robbery involving a marijuana deal at a Pine Grove residence earlier this week.

Deputies were dispatched about 5 p.m. Monday after a 911 call was received from a Pine Grove resident reporting the robbery, but they were unable to find the fleeing suspects.

The victims were identified as a 34-year-old woman, a 29-year-old man and a 14-year old girl.

Detectives who responded to the scene learned that the two adults had recommendations for the use of medicinal marijuana, and both marijuana plants and processed marijuana were found on the property, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

June 12, 2013
Pair accused of selling marijuana to South Lake Tahoe students

South Lake Tahoe police have arrested two residents who are accused of furnishing marijuana to students at South Tahoe High School and South Tahoe Middle School.

William Anderson (left photo), 30, and his fiance, Makayla Hoe (right photo), 25, were taken into custody Monday after a school resource officer discovered information regarding adults selling marijuana to local students. He passed the information on to patrol officers.

Officers followed up with an investigation and learned that students were buying marijuana from someone named "Will," according to a Police Department news release. Further investigation led them to William Anderson on Marjorie Street. Officers served a search warrant at Anderson's residence, where they found marijuana, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, officials said.

William Anderson+photo.jpgMakayla Hoehn+photo.jpg

May 31, 2013
Stockton man pleads guilty to operating marijuana businesses in Sacramento

A Stockton man pleaded guilty today to operating multiple marijuana businesses and cultivation sites, including four in Sacramento.

Matthew Davies, 35, entered the plea in federal court in Sacramento before U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. Davies pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to manufacture and distribute marijuana, two counts of manufacturing marijuana in connection with two separate indoor marijuana grow operations and seven counts of distribution of marijuana, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to the plea agreement filed today, Davies, along with co-defendant Lynn Farrell Smith, 62, of Stockton, owned and operated various marijuana businesses. One of the two marijuana manufacturing operations was a sophisticated indoor growing facility involving thousands of plants in a warehouse on Vickie Lane in Stockton. Stockton Police officers responded to a report of a burglary in progress at warehouse and found more than a dozen workers inside trimming plants. The discovery led to a federal investigation, and a search warrant was executed at the location.

May 11, 2013
UPDATE: Elk Grove firefighters quench blaze, discover marijuana-growing operation

Authorities have served a search warrant at the site of an apparent marijuana-growing operation -- a home that was destroyed by fire today, Elk Grove Police reported.

Elk Grove Police spokesman Officer Christopher Trim said a woman who drove to the home has been arrested. Authorities plan to search a second location, he said, and more arrests could follow.

The fire was reported shortly after 11:30 a.m., and firefighters from both the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department and the Sacramento Fire Department responded.

"As they were putting out the fire, they discovered signs of a marijuana-growing operation," Trim said. "They called us."

The home in the 6000 block of Laguna Villa Way appeared to have been a rental house, Trim said.

May 3, 2013
Placerville man sentenced for interstate marijuana distrbution

A Placerville man has been sentenced in federal count in Sacramento to 42 months in prison for his role in an interstate marijuana distribution conspiracy.

U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. also sentenced Robert Edward Mulready to four years of supervised release following his time in prison.

Mulready previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to cultivate and distribute at least 100 marijuana plants, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

May 2, 2013
Elk Grove residents accused of growing marijuana in area homes

Two Elk Grove residents have been charged with indoor marijuana cultivation.

A federal grand jury returned a five-count superseding indictment charging Mitchell Chang, 45, and Kelly Liang, 35, with multiple counts of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing of marijuana, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, in 2008 and again in 2013, Chang and Liang maintained multiple Elk Grove-area homes where they cultivated, manufactured and processed more than 700 marijuana plants.

The case resulted from a joint investigation by the Elk Grove Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

April 30, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to restaurant owners accused of backroom marijuana sales?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: A couple who owned the Farmer's Daughter restaurant was arrested last year for selling marijuana in the back room. What happened to them?
Submitted by: Rose, Sacramento

ANSWER: Robert Sand and Shelby Lucero, proprietors of the Farmer's Daughter restaurant, were arrested in July 2012 after Sacramento County sheriff's narcotics detectives raided the restaurant and the owners' Rio Linda home.

April 15, 2013
Fresno man sentenced for role in El Dorado, Placer marijuana grows

A Fresno man who controlled marijuana growing operations in El Dorado, Placer and Tehama counties has been sentenced to more than 17 years in prison.

Uriel Ochoa-Espindola, 44, today received a 17.5-year sentence in Sacramento from U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb for his part in a marijuana trafficking conspiracy, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Ochoa-Espindola was the leader of a massive marijuana manufacturing operation and an interstate drug distribution ring, according to court documents. His operation was based near Delhi, but he and his partners grew tens of thousands of marijuana plants in three different counties and shipped their product across the country with the aid of commercial truckers.

April 10, 2013
South Lake Tahoe man sentenced to prison for marijuana trafficking

A South Lake Tahoe marijuana dispensary owner has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for marijuana trafficking.

Gennaro DiMatteo, 43, was sentenced today in Sacramento by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. DiMatteo had entered a guilty plea in January. As part of his plea agreement, DiMatteo will forfeit more than $40,000 to the United States, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

In pleading guilty, DiMatteo admitted that during a search of his South Lake Tahoe residence, law enforcement agents discovered a hidden door that led to several subsurface rooms under the structure. Equipment set up in the rooms was standard for indoor marijuana cultivation gardens.

April 8, 2013
Brothers involved in marijuana growing sentenced

Three of four Sacramento brothers involved in a sophisticated residential marijuana growing operation were sentenced today in federal court in Sacramento.

Tony Le, 55, was sentenced to 48 months in prison, and Cuong Le, 43, and Minh Le, 36, received prison sentences of 51 months and 46 months, respectively, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. They were sentenced by U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb for their involvement in a conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

Co-defendant Tien Le was recently found guilty after a six-day trial in the same case and is to be sentenced July 1.

April 5, 2013
Six arrested in El Dorado County marijuana sales investigation

David+Sisson+040413.jpgStacy+Sisson+040413+(1).jpgRobert+Sisson+040413.jpgAn investigation into marijuana sales in El Dorado County has resulted in six arrests, as well as seizure of approximately 60 pounds of processed marijuana and $80,000 in currency.

A three-month investigation by El Dorado County sheriff's detectives regarding a conspiracy to sell marijuana culminated Thursday with the service of five search warrants, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

The investigation centered around the sale of marijuana through two businesses. River City Wellness, also known as Right Choice Wellness, in Cameron Park and C4C in Shingle Springs were operated by 45-year-old David Sisson (top left photo) of El Dorado, his wife, 44-year-old Stacy Sisson (top right photo), also of El Dorado, and David Sisson's brother, 34-year-old Robert Sisson (left photo) of Shingle Springs, authorities said.

April 3, 2013
Sacramento Coast Guard spots boat with 3 tons of marijuana

A Sacramento-based Coast Guard air crew helped recover 3.3 tons of marijuana from the ocean on Sunday off the coast of Southern California.

The crew of the Coast Guard C-130 Hercules, based in Sacramento, spotted a suspected smuggler's vessel during a routine patrol, according to the Coast Guard. Sailors on the suspected smugglers boat began throwing bales of marijuana overboard and sped south.

The C-130 crew provided the location of the ship, about 90 miles west of San Nicolas Island, to the Coast Guard Cutter Alert. The cutter responded to recover 245 bales of marijuana.

San Nicolas Island is one of the Channel Islands 60 miles off the coast from Los Angeles. Coast Guard crews regularly patrol the waters off the coast to disrupt smuggling of illegal migrants and drugs, according to a Coast Guard press release.

March 28, 2013
Nevada County man pleads guilty to role in Sacramento marijuana dispensary

A Nevada County man pleaded guilty today in federal court to maintaining a marijuana dispensary in Sacramento.

John Lester Gross III, 48, of Rough and Ready admitted maintaining a drug-involved premises, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, Gross helped organize and maintain a marijuana dispensary on P Street in Sacramento. It was supplied with marijuana grown on Gross' property in Rough and Ready, near Grass Valley.

March 26, 2013
Sacramento man found guilty in marijuana-growing conspiracy

A Sacramento man has been found guilty of conspiring to manufacture marijuana at homes in Placer County.

Tien Le, 47, was convicted following a six-day jury trial in Sacramento before U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Evidence was presented during the trial of a conspiracy involving Le and his two brothers. Authorities said the three men purchased high-end homes in Auburn and Foresthill to house marijuana growing operations. The three homes had basements ideal for growing large amounts of marijuana.

March 9, 2013
Suspect hit by car while fleeing police in south Sacramento

PERRINO, MARQUIS-23.jpgA man continued running from police even after being hit by a car.

Officers attempted to stop Marquis Perrino, 23, who was riding a bicycle near Summersdale Drive and Mack Road about 5:30 p.m. Friday, according to a Sacramento Police Department report. Perrino abandoned his bike and fled, but was struck by a car while crossing the street, officers reported.

"He was able to shake off his injuries and keep running," officer Doug Morse said.

Officers eventually caught the suspect a short distance away and found marijuana packaged for distribution where Perrino had left the bike. Police took Perrino to a hospital before booking him for resisting arrest and possessing marijuana for sale.

"He didn't break any bones, but as a precaution we took him to the hospital to get him checked out," Morse said.

March 3, 2013
Rocklin teacher with alleged 'party pad' for teens out on bail

susp.jpgA Rocklin middle school teacher is out on bail, following his arrest on suspicion of supplying marijuana and alcohol to minors.

Ian Runciman, 38, was booked on felony counts of supplying marijuana to minors and keeping a place where drugs are used. The eighth-grade math teacher at Granite Oaks Middle School also is accused of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Runciman was booked into Placer County Jail on Friday, after a parent complained to the school about the suspected criminal activity. Bail was set at $25,000. Runciman posted bail and was released over the weekend.

March 2, 2013
Rocklin middle school teacher arrested; accused of giving marijuana to students

By Anita Creamer
acreamer@sacbee.com

susp.jpg

A 38-year-old Rocklin middle school teacher was arrested Friday after a parent complained to a school resource officer that the teacher had allegedly given students marijuana and alcohol, authorities said.

The teacher, Ian Runciman, works as an eighth-grade math teacher at Granite Oaks Middle School. The alleged incidents occurred both on campus and at the teacher's Roseville apartment and involved several students, according to officials.

Runciman was arrested on suspicion of supplying marijuana to a juvenile and booked into Placer County Jail today.

Rocklin police continue the investigation and request that anyone with information call the department at (916) 625-5443.

February 15, 2013
Four indicted for growing marijuana in Sacramento, Elk Grove houses

Four people have been indicted for growing marijuana in seven houses in Elk Grove and Sacramento.

A federal grand jury in Sacramento returned a two-count indictment Wednesday, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Charged with crimes related to cultivating marijuana in the houses are Zhiqiang Liu, 59, of Oakland; Shihong Chen, 47 and Qinghong Li, 44, both of San Francisco; and Jun Mou Peng, 39, whose city of residence was not listed.

According to court documents, on Jan. 30, law enforcement agents conducted searches and seized 2,912 marijuana plants, approximately 100 pounds of processed marijuana and more than $4,000 in cash. Agents found the defendants in grow houses and arrested them.

February 15, 2013
Placerville man pleads guilty in marijuana trafficking conspiracy

A Placerville man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Sacramento to participating in an interstate marijuana distribution conspiracy.

Dylan Hudson, 26, admitted to conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, Hudson was in charge of an interstate marijuana trafficking conspiracy. More than 1,100 pounds of processed marijuana, along with more than $329,000 in cash and eight firearms were seized during the investigation, authorities said.

February 12, 2013
Pot-for-boat Craigslist transaction sinks Eureka man

A man whom Oroville police said posted a Craigslist ad looking to trade his marijuana for a boat has been arrested.

Billy Jack Pierce III, 33, of Eureka was booked into Butte County Jail on drug charges after police arranged a meeting with him in Oroville.

Police said that Pierce posted an ad on the Oroville Craigslist, offering to trade marijuana for a boat. Officers saw the ad and contacted the person behind the posting.

He agreed to come to Oroville from Eureka to consummate the transaction. At 5 p.m. Friday, officers arrested Pierce at the agreed upon Eureka location, a Frisbee golf course. Police said Pierce had three pounds of processed marijuana. A police press release said Pierce "claimed to possess and trade the marijuana for medical purposes."

February 8, 2013
Yolo County jury convicts man found tending more than 500 marijuana plants

A man arrested last September in a field of marijuana plants has been convicted by a Yolo County jury of cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale.

The jury also found that 57-year-old Fidel Alvarez was armed with a firearm during the commission of these crimes, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release.

On Sept. 6, 2012, agents from with the Yolo County Narcotics Enforcement Team and the Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigations Team discovered a marijuana grow on public lands off Highway 16 in Yolo County. The marijuana grow contained more than 500 plants that would have been ready for harvest within a few days, officials said. Agents found Alvarez walking through the field of plants dressed in camouflage clothing and carrying a .22-caliber rifle and a homemade flash suppressor.

January 23, 2013
Nevada County man to forfeit $2.4 million in property in marijuana case

A Nevada County man has been sentenced to prison and ordered to forfeit $2.4 million worth of property in a case involving marijuana cultivation and structuring of cash transactions to avoid reporting requirements.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton today sentenced Charles Miller Hilkey Jr., 58, a resident of the Nevada City area, to four years and one month in prison. The judge also ordered Hilkey to forfeit to the United States 25 pieces of property in Oregon and California valued at more than $2.4 million, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Hilkey pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on Feb. 21, 2012. He was taken into custody following today's hearing.

January 7, 2013
Yuba County deputies report marijuana found in car after chase

A Sacramento man was arrested on suspicion of vehicle code violations and possessing marijuana after leading Yuba County Sheriff's deputies on a chase in the Olivehurst area.

About 4:30 p.m. Sunday, deputies attempted to stop the driver of a car for vehicle code violations near the intersection of Chestnut and Olivehurst avenues. But the driver failed to yield and sped away with deputies in pursuit, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

The chase continued on Highway 70/65 to Forty Mile Road, and eventually to Pleasant Grove Road, where the suspect's vehicle was disabled by a mechanical problem.

January 4, 2013
Murder verdict in fatal Sacramento County pot robbery attempt trial

A Sacramento jury convicted Nathaniel Carter in the shooting death of another man two years ago in a pot robbery attempt.

The jury returned the verdict against Carter on Thursday, finding him guilty of first degree murder and attempted robbery in the Oct. 29, 2010 homicide of Steven Carmassi.

Carter, with co-defendants Latice Collins and DeJohng Taylor, tried to rob Carmassi at gunpoint as he sat in his truck in the parking lot of a supermarket on Garfield Avenue near Madison Avenue and Interstate 80.

When Carmassi tried to drive away, Carter shot him in the chest through the driver's side window. During trial, a witness described Carmassi as the "weed dealer to the weed dealers" in her neighborhood.

Collins pleaded guilty to first degree murder and attempted robbery before jury selection began. He will receive a sentence of 26 years to life in prison, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney press release.

Taylor pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and will receive a sentence of a maximum of 12 years in prison.

Carter faces a possible sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 8.

November 30, 2012
Two accused of trying to sell marijuana to narcotics officers

Two men described by authorities as validated gang members from the Sacramento area were arrested in El Dorado County after they allegedly tried to sell marijuana to narcotics investigators.

On Tuesday, the Western El Dorado County Narcotics Enforcement Team received information from a Sheriff's Department employee that he had received an offer to trade a vehicle and one quarter pound of marijuana for a vehicle that he had listed for sale on Craigslist, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff's Department news release. Narcotics investigators initiated contact with the buyer, arranging to meet him Wednesday in a parking lot at 3935 Park Drive in El Dorado Hills.

The investigators contacted Somyouth Chanthongdao, 27, at his vehicle. After agreeing to the exchange, they were led to another, nearby vehicle and were shown approximately a quarter pound of marijuana in the trunk, officials said.

November 1, 2012
Sacramento man sentenced for laundering marijuana proceeds

A Sacramento man has been sentenced to prison for laundering proceeds from interstate marijuana sales.

U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. today sentenced Keni Renta, 29, to three years and one month in prison for structuring cash transactions from selling marijuana to avoid reporting requirements, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, Renta in 2011 sold marijuana interstate, obtaining the majority of his supply from California growers. Buyers, primarily in the Midwest and Northeast, paid by making deposits into bank branches outside of California for accounts in Renta's name or that he controlled.

October 18, 2012
Man arrested after search turns up marijuana, guns

Sanchez-Moscoso,+Gilbert+19+-years-old.jpgA traffic stop Wednesday afternoon led to the arrest of a 19-year-old man on suspicion of marijuana and weapons offenses.

About 3:58 p.m., Sacramento police officers conducted a traffic stop that led to a warrant search of a home in the 8400 block of Hermitage Way, in the North Laguna area, according to a Police Department news release. During the search, officers seized approximately 15 pounds of marijuana, seven guns and approximately $20,000 in cash, officials said. The firearms seized were described as an assortment of handguns and two shotguns.

Officers arrested Gilbert Sanchez-Moscoso (pictured). He was booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, possessing marijuana for sale and removing serial numbers on a firearm.

Police ask anyone with information pertaining to the case to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357, or text a tip to 274637. Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

October 16, 2012
Olivehurst man sentenced in Iowa for federal marijuana, weapons offenses

A Yuba County man has been sentenced to prison by a federal court judge in Iowa after pleading guilty to weapons charges and to possessing medical marijuana with the intent to distribute it.

Kelvin Maximillion Stanford of Olivehurst was sentenced Oct. 11 in Cedar Rapids by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade to two years in federal prison. He was stopped on Interstate 80 driving from California with nearly 3 pounds of medical marijuana, a firearm and a stun baton, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Stanford pleaded guilty in July to possessing with the intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms of marijuana and being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm.

October 15, 2012
Three arrested in raid on Wilton marijuana growing operation

Wilton marijuana photo 2.JPGThree people were arrested this morning after law enforcement officers raided a marijuana growing operation in the Wilton area.

Michelle Gregory, a spokeswoman with the California Department of Justice in Sacramento, said the plants were spotted in the 9700 block of La Clair Road via aerial surveillance.

Agents with the Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team removed 337 plants and destroyed them on site (pictured). Gregory said 200 to 300 pounds of processed marijuana were seized along with a loaded rifle.

Arrested were Ket Sanesanong, 58 and his wife, Janet Sanesanong, 54, as well as Khamphanh Savantphone, 58. All were booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion marijuana cultivation and cultivation for sale.

Photo courtesy California Department of Justice

October 12, 2012
Roadside welfare check turns up 16 pounds of marijuana

Five people were arrested today on suspicion of transporting marijuana for sale after a Yolo County sheriff's deputy made an an early-morning welfare check on occupants of a U-Haul truck.

The truck was parked on County Road 82b, off Highway 16 near Capay at 2:30 a.m. While speaking with the occupants, the deputy smelled the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Other deputies arrived and searched the truck. During the search, they found more than 25 bags of marijuana weighing approximately 16 pounds, officials said.

October 11, 2012
Sacramentans sentenced in interstate marijuana shipping case

Two men were sentenced in federal court in Sacramento today for charges related to an interstate marijuana shipping business.

U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced Jauwon Pierre Wilder, 28, to two years in prison, and Charles Wilson, 35, to 10 months in prison, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Both men are from Sacramento.

According to court documents, in 2011 co-defendant Keni Renta ran a business that sold marijuana interstate. He obtained a majority of his supply from other California growers. Wilson grew marijuana for the business, and Wilder helped launder the proceeds from the operation.

October 10, 2012
Would-be thieves reportedly raid Loomis marijuana garden

The Placer County Sheriff's Department is investigating after would-be thieves reportedly raided an outdoor marijuana garden in Loomis this morning.

A Loomis man called the Sheriff's Department at 4:53 a.m. and said that several men wearing masks raided his garden as he slept outside to guard his 100 plants. The men did not take any pot, but they fired two shots at the house as they fled, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

The man told sheriff's dispatchers that two or three individuals entered his back yard in the 9100 block of King Road. The man ran into his home to tell his roommate what was happening, and the would-be thieves ran back to their vehicle. As they headed east on King Road, the intruders fired two rounds into the house. No one in the residence was injured.

Although the case in still under investigation, sheriff's officials said it appears that the marijuana was being illegally grown. All 100 plants, which were 5 to 6 feet tall, were uprooted and removed from the property. Authorities said the owner of the plants could face criminal charges.

September 26, 2012
Truckee police bust man for residential marijuana growing operation

Truckee police said they arrested a man who allegedly turned his three-bedroom home into a marijuana growing operation.

Police had been monitoring the home in the Glenshire subdivision on Saxon Way for some time for what they termed "suspicious activity."

Last Thursday morning, detectives detained a person at the residence and went inside the house. There, according to a police press release, they found that the interior had been converted for marijuana growing.

Detectives found about 40 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, with about 20 ready for harvest.

Michael Morrow, 25, of Truckee, was arrested on suspicion of illegal cultivation of marijuana. Police said Morrow was on probation for a previous conviction for the same offense.

September 17, 2012
Seventeen arrested in pot bust near Elk Grove

By Darrell Smith

dvsmith@sacbee.com

Seventeen people were arrested and 1,500 plants seized when state drug agents shut down a marijuana growing operation Monday near Elk Grove.

The 7 a.m. raid by the state's Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team, wrapped a month-long investigation into the grow, tucked into cornfields and processed in a barn east of Interstate 5 near Lambert Road, said Department of Justice spokeswoman Michelle Gregory.

Gregory said the operation, first spotted by helicopter, was a sophisticated one. Photos showed the harvested marijuana drying on racks under shade of the barns and equipment agents believe was used to process the pot.

August 22, 2012
Pizza parlor owner accused of lewd acts with minors

John+Martinez-42.jpgThe owner of a Sacramento pizza parlor has been arrested on suspicion of furnishing marijuana to and committing lewd acts with a minor at his business.

Police said they received information from a member of the community that John Julian Martinez (pictured), 42, was using his business, Royal Pizza, to entice female juveniles and subject them to sexual behavior. The business is in the 2200 block of Northgate Boulevard.

Martinez was arrested following an investigation by detectives. He is accused of eliciting sexual behavior from juveniles with the promise of providing them with marijuana, according to a Police Department news release. He allegedly displayed lewd conduct at the pizza parlor in addition to touching multiple female juveniles in a sexual manner.

August 6, 2012
Murder trial begins over fatal marijuana deal

Prosecutors and defense attorneys delivered opening statements today in the murder trial of Andre Powe, the last remaining defendant in the Jan. 26, 2010, shooting death of Shawn West in a Jack in the Box parking lot on Stockton Boulevard.

Deputy District Attorney Charles Gonzalez told a Sacramento Superior Court jury that Powe, who is now 23, shot West, 26, in the chest during a marijuana deal rip-off.

Powe was one of three men originally charged in the case. One former co-defendant, Cort Parnell Milgrim, 24, pleaded guilty to a murder charge July 24. The second alleged participant, Joel Satchell, 22, entered a no-contest plea early last year to the reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter.

July 24, 2012
Two men accused of illegal marijuana cultivation in Yuba County

Two men identified by law enforcement authorities as members of the Sureno gang have been arrested in Yuba County on suspicion of illegal cultivation of marijuana.

Deputies developed information for a warrant after receiving a citizen complaint of individuals shooting on property in the 11000 block of Hill Road in Loma Rica, according to a Yuba County Sheriff's Office news release. They served the warrant about 6:30 this morning. During the search, deputies seized 494 marijuana plants, about 1 pound of processed marijuana and three firearms, officials reported.

Two men were found at the site and arrested. The Sheriff's Office identified them as David Navarro, 18, of Loma Rica and Jacob Villa, 18, of Wheatland, both validated gang members. Neither man had recommendations for medicinal marijuana, officials said.

The men were booked into the Yuba County Jail on suspicion of illegal cultivation, conspiracy and gang enhancements.

July 24, 2012
Deal frees medical pot dealer Bryan Epis from prison

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

bryan-epis.jpegA Chico man serving a mandatory 10 years in prison for growing marijuana has had 21/2 years cut off his sentence by federal prosecutors who are notoriously hard-nosed about pot dealers.

Bryan James Epis, (pictured) an inmate at the Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution in Southern California, should now be released in early 2014 instead of September 2016.

Epis, 45, who was one of the first in the state to establish a cannabis club after passage in 1996 of California's law permitting medicinal use of pot, has been locked in a pitched battle with law enforcement for nearly 20 years over his cultivation and use of marijuana. He was found guilty in June 2002 by a jury in Sacramento federal court of conspiracy to manufacture 1,000 or more plants at his home within 1,000 feet of Chico High School. But for much of the intervening time, he was free pending efforts to overturn the conviction.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said today a recent U.S. Supreme Court opinion may have made Epis' challenge more viable.

"As set forth in the settlement agreement, Bryan Epis claimed that his trial attorneys rendered ineffective assistance to him with respect to their advice concerning the United States' pretrial plea offer," Wagner said in a prepared statement. "As also detailed in the agreement, his trial attorneys did not refute that claim, and under recent Supreme Court precedent, Epis therefore might have been entitled to some relief."

U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. signed off this morning on the settlement agreement hammered out in weeks of negotiation between Epis attorney John Balazs and Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel Wong, who is known as one of California's toughest marijuana prosecutors. The rare pact vacating a sentence that had been upheld by federal appellate judges required approval from the highest levels of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

June 29, 2012
Butte County resident sentenced in Sacramento court in marijuana-growing conspiracy

By Denny Walsh

dwalsh@sacbee.com

Johnny E. "Jay" Grivette Jr., once a top lieutenant of Lawrence Leland "Lee" Loomis, alleged by the government to be a major fraudster who has yet to be charged, was sentenced Friday in Sacramento federal court to 4 1/2 months in prison and 4 1/2 months of home confinement on his guilty plea to a marijuana-growing conspiracy.

Grivette, 37, a Butte County resident, will remain free for at least the next three months while he continues his assistance in the government's investigation of Loomis, formerly of Granite Bay.

June 20, 2012
Placer fugitive captured 15 years after skipping out on trial

A man who fled Placer County during his trial on marijuana and related charges 15 years ago is back in custody.

Lawrence Dewald, 46, of Mendocino County was arrested Thursday by Placer County sheriff's deputies and investigators from the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

Dewald was originally convicted Sept. 2, 1996, of possessing marijuana with the intent to sell and being armed in the commission of that offense. He also was found to have two prior strikes under California's three strikes law, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release.

June 13, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What's story on gunman in fatal 1996 shooting in Antelope?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: In 1996, Angelo Garcia shot a man in Antelope, killing him. Can you tell me the whole story?
Submitted by: loc, Sacramento

ANSWER: A Sacramento County jury convicted Angelo Matthew Garcia of second-degree murder and second-degree robbery in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Eric Daniel Hester-Lee.

June 11, 2012
DEA agents raid Sacramento pot shop

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Federal authorities have confirmed that they have executed a search of a Sacramento medical marijuana dispensary today.

Phone calls to the location, El Camino Wellness, 2511 Connie Dr., were not being answered as of midday Monday.

Casey Rettig, a spokeswoman for the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, said she could not talk about the situation other than to confirm the early morning execution of a search warrant.

May 24, 2012
Sacramento men plead guilty to structuring pot proceeds to avoid reporting rules

Two Sacramento men have pleaded guilty to structuring cash transactions from marijuana sales to avoid reporting requirements.

Keni Renta, 29, and Jauwon Pierre Wilder, 28, entered the pleas today in federal court in Sacramento, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

In 2011, Renta was in the business of interstate sale of marijuana, obtaining a majority of his supply from California growers, according to court documents. He took orders from out-of-state individuals, primarily in the Midwest and Northeast. These buyers paid him by depositing cash in bank branches in other states for accounts in Renta's name or that he controlled.

May 7, 2012
El Dorado Country drug trafficking investigation leads to arrest, seizures

Robert Edward Mulready.jpgThe El Dorado County Sheriff's Department announced one arrest and the seizure of more than $236,000 in cash, assault weapons and marijuana plants in a drug trafficking case that extended to Florida, Virginia and North Carolina.

The Western El Dorado County Narcotics Enforcement Team began the drug trafficking investigation Friday and discovered that a suspect in North Carolina was under investigation by authorities in that state for sales of marijuana, according to a Sheriff's Office news release. Several other suspects in other states also were involved in the sales and distribution of marijuana that was being shipped from suspects in the El Dorado County area, officials said.

Over the next three days, narcotics enforcement team detectives investigated and served several search warrants at locations, including 3873 Destiny Lane in Shingle Springs and 1161 Kathy Lane north of Placerville.

May 4, 2012
Sacramento Sheriff: New gang task force has seized 112 guns, made 124 arrests

In a news conference this afternoon, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones formally introduced his new anti-gang "Impact Division," and announced preliminary results from the team's efforts.

impact guns 1.jpgSince the division began its work in January, gang detectives assigned to the division have seized more than 100 guns, some of which are pictured at left, and arrested nearly 125 suspects, Jones said.

In addition, deputies have seized 4.3 pounds of cocaine, 153 pounds of marijuana, 29 grams of heroin and almost a pound of methamphetamines, Jones said.

"Can I say we've beaten the gang problem? No," said Jones, flanked by commanders from partnering agencies. "We have a lot of work to do."

impact guns 3.jpgBut Jones said he has high expectations for the division and believes it is off to a strong start.

"Hopefully it gives people optimism we are taking the youth violence problem seriously," Jones said.

Last fall, the Sheriff's Department was awarded a $11.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's COPS Office. The money was to fund a collaborative anti-gang approach that Jones said he began crafting after he took office in 2010.

impact guns 2.jpgThe division is made up of 31 sheriff's employees and 10 officers from outside agencies. Those partnering with the Sheriff's Department are: Police departments from Elk Grove, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova and Galt; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's Special Service Unit; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and homeland security.

Jones also announced a new tipline for information about gang-related activity. The tipline is also designed for youths who want help getting out of the gang life, Jones said. That number is (855) 2NO-GANG, or (855) 266-4264.

"It's never too late to turn around," Jones said.

To those who have no interest in changing their habits, Jones had a message: "We will find you, we will identify you, and we will arrest you."

The division has a three-pronged approach: gang suppression, intelligence and youth outreach. To read more about the Impact division, go here.

Photos show some of the guns seized by members of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Impact Division. Photo by Bee staff writer Kim Minugh.

April 18, 2012
Former correctional officer sentenced in marijuana case

A former Folsom State Prison correctional officer was sentenced today in Sacramento Superior Court for possession of marijuana for sale.

Ryan Coma and his co-defendant Vietmy Nguyen each received a sentence of 150 days in county jail, plus five years of formal probation, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. In addition, they must register as drug offenders and will be subject to search and seizure with probable cause. Violation of probation could result in a sentence of up to three years in county jail under the new Criminal Justice Realignment Law.

On Aug. 22, 2011, Folsom State Prison investigators were following 30-year-old Coma because of rumors that he had been smuggling drugs, tobacco and cell phones into the prison, according to the news release. Coma was seen entering a vehicle belonging to Vietmy Nguyen, whose brother was an inmate at Folsom Prison.

March 29, 2012
Sacramento deputies seize firearms, marijuana plants in Wilton operation

Sacramento County sheriff's officials arrested five suspects and seized a cache of illegal firearms and marijuana plants during an operation in Wilton this morning.

Deputies assigned to the "Impact Division" - the agency's grant-funded gang unit - and the SWAT team served a search warrant at a home in the 9800 block of Clay Station Road about 7 a.m. today, said sheriff's Deputy Jason Ramos.

Inside the home, deputies found indoor and outdoor marijuana cultivation operations, and evidence to suggest the marijuana was being sold, Ramos said. They also recovered a dozen guns, including a modified assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine.

According to Ramos, arrested were Dang Hang, 39; Lo Saechao, 36; Kou Vue, 32: Jimmie Mue, 29; and Yer Yang, 28. They face a variety of charges, including illegal possession of an assault weapon, tampering with identifying marks on a firearm, unlawful manufacturing of a high-capacity magazine and possession of marijuana for sale.

February 13, 2012
Five Sacramento-area residents arrested in interstate marijuana operation

Renta+Image.jpgWilder+Image.jpgWilson+Image.jpgCurry+Image.jpghunter+Image.jpgSacramento County sheriff's narcotics detectives today arrested five people in connection with an interstate marijuana distribution operation.

Taken into custody were Keni Renta (pictured, top left), 29; Jauwon Wilder (top center), 28; Charles Wilson (top right), 34; Nathan Curry (bottom left) , 35; and Maryann Hunter (bottom right), 25. All were booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation of marijuana and conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

In October 2011, sheriff's detectives began an investigation along with the U.S. Postal Service and the Financial Crimes Task Force of the Internal Revenue Services. The investigation focused on a group of people who appeared to have laundered more than $1 million in cash deposits into fictitious business and personal accounts, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. The deposits were made in states on the East Coast, then withdrawn the following day in Sacramento.

February 7, 2012
Santa Barbara County man sentenced for marijuana growing operations in El Dorado County

A Santa Barbara County man was sentenced today in federal court in Sacramento for his involvement in marijuana growing operations in El Dorado County.

Ryan Louis Ennis, 39, of Buellton was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez to nine years for conspiring to cultivate marijuana.

In sentencing, Judge Mendez described Ennis as the leader and financial backer of a sophisticated, well-funded marijuana operation, saying that he provided marijuana to distributors on the East Coast, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

February 3, 2012
Trinity County man faces Sacramento federal pot charges

A federal grand jury in Sacramento has indicted a Trinity County man on marijuana conspiracy and cultivation charges, months after a series of raids resulted in the seizure of more than 2,700 pot plants.

According to a criminal complaint, William Robert Barsanti, 26, who was indicted Thursday, bragged to local sheriff's deputies that he could beat any charges against him because he was protected under California's medical marijuana laws.

Trinity County authorities referred the case to federal prosecutors after 2,769 marijuana plants and five pounds of pot were seized in two raids in August and another in September on three properties owned by Barsanti, according to Sacramento U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Christopher DeFreece wrote in an affidavit that Barsanti, of Hayfork, told deputies who arrested him that he was a legal "caregiver" who was growing marijuana for 30 medical users in addition to supplying California dispensaries.

"Barsanti...stated that he would never be convicted of growing marijuana because six out ten people in Trinity County grow marijuana and that is who would be in the jury," DeFreece wrote. The DEA agent also wrote that "Barsanti continued to say that Trinitry County was a joke and he was going to beat the charges against him."

As a result of the federal indictment, he faces trial in Sacramento federal court.

December 23, 2011
Sacramento Sheriff returns 2 pounds of medicinal pot to dispensary

In response to a court order, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department this afternoon returned two pounds of medicinal marijuana to a dispensary from which it was seized earlier this month.

A Sacramento Superior Court judge this morning ordered the Sheriff's Department to return the marijuana to the Common Roots Collective.

On Dec. 1, deputies accompanied code enforcement officers who executed an inspection warrant at the dispensary on 52nd Street in Sacramento, said the collective's attorney, John Fuery.

December 1, 2011
Father jailed after smoking marijuana while child in car

A Sacramento man is in jail accused of endangering the health of a child after he and a companion were found smoking marijuana in a car with the man's 2-year-old son.

Sacramento police officers on routine patrol spotted a suspicious vehicle in the 7600 block of Denise Street in the Meadowview area shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday. Officers contacted the two adults inside but didn't notice the child at first because marijuana smoke in the vehicle was so heavy, according to the police activity log.

JC Monroe, 24, was arrested and booked into Sacramento County Jail, on suspicion of child endangerment. Monroe's companion was not arrested because both adults had medicinal marijuana cards, said Officer Laura Peck, police department spokeswoman.

November 4, 2011
Man jailed after found asleep in car full of stolen property

A Sacramento man was arrested by Placer County sheriff's deputies after he was found passed out in a car that was full of stolen property, illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Deputies were called to the Walgreen's parking lot on Douglas Boulevard in Granite Bay about 11:40 a.m. Thursday. When they arrived, they found Yevgeniy Gorlachev, 24, slumped over in the driver's seat with the engine running. He woke up when deputies asked him if he was OK, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Officials said a search of the vehicle turned up heroin, a syringe, a glass pipe with methamphetamine inside, and marijuana and a pipe stashed in the fuse box.

October 26, 2011
Five men indicted in marijuana trafficking conspiracy

Five Sacramento-area men have been indicted in connection with a marijuana trafficking conspiracy.

A federal grand jury in Sacramento today returned a 23-count indictment charging Thomas Holzmann, 24, Peter Holzmann, 23, and Joseph Andrade, 24, all of West Sacramento, as well as Jonathan Sherman, 27, of Sacramento, and Eddy Arevalo, 29, of the El Dorado County community of Somerset, with conspiring to cultivate and distribute marijuana, and various other drug offenses.

Sherman also was charged with multiple counts of structuring and money laundering. Structuring occurs when large sums of currency are broken up and deposited in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid filing reports required by federal law, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

October 19, 2011
DOJ agents arrest three for pot in south Sacramento County

Four suspected marijuana patch growers were arrested after they ran from law enforcement officers in southern Sacramento County.

State Department of Justice marijuana investigation team agents conducting surveillance came upon the seven suspects who fled from them this morning near Interstate 5 and Hood-Franklin Road.

Four of the suspects were caught. The Sacramento Sheriff's Department aided the DOJ in finding the other three.

October 3, 2011
Five arraigned in shooting death at Amador County pot farm
Manisap.jpgSaechao.jpgTai.jpgTran.jpgNguyen.jpg

The names of five men arrested last week in connection with the shooting death of 45-year-old He Ting Fu in Amador County have been released by the Amador County Sheriff's Department.

All were arraigned Friday in Amador Superior Court, and Judge David Richmond ordered them held in Amador County Jail without bail, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

The men were identified as Andrew Minh Manisap , 18 (photo, top row, left), Michael Saechao, 20 (top center), David Van Tai, 22 (top right), and Vu Xuan Tran, 23(bottom left), all of Sacramaento, and Son Thai Nguyen, 19 (bottom right), of Elk Grove.

September 30, 2011
Heroin busts target source of drugs sold in Folsom

Folsom police announced today that an approximately six-month investigation resulted in the arrest Thursday of three Sacramento residents believed to be connected with a majority of the heroin that has been coming into Folsom.

Search warrants were served at multiple locations and turned up and estimated $22,000 worth of drugs, police said.

Shamia Ingram (left photo), 31, and Jermaine Ellison (center photo), 40, were arrested after three-quarters of a pound of tar heroin was recovered at their home in the 7400 block of Winkley Way in Sacramento's Meadowview neighborhood, according to a Police Department news release. Marijuana and commonly abused prescription medications were also recovered, along with $5,600 in cash.
Shamia Ingram.bmpJermain Ellison.bmpDemaris Crossley.bmp

September 30, 2011
Marijuana plants linked to trafficking eradicated in Yuba County

With the destruction of a marijuana garden on private property near the Butte County line earlier this week, the Yuba County Sheriff's Department reports that more than 25,000 marijuana plants have been eradicated in the county this year.

The department's Marijuana Eradication Team disposed of nearly 2,000 marijuana plants from a grow near Rackerby on Monday, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

The illegal garden, believed to belong to a drug trafficking organization, was located about a half-mile from the Butte County line. Officials said it was on private property, several hundred feet from Bureau of Land Management property.

September 30, 2011
UC Davis reports some crimes up, others down for 2010

Liquor-related arrests were up, drug arrests were down and assaults pretty much held steady last year on UC Davis property compared to the previous year, according a press release from the university.

The annual statistics were prepared for the federal Clery Act.

"UC Davis is a relatively safe campus, but no community of our size is crime-free," said campus Police Chief Annette Spicuzza.

Comparisons between 2010 and 2009:

September 30, 2011
Rancho Cordova shooting erupts over marijuana grow

Another instance of violence has occurred in connection with a marijuana grow -- this time in Rancho Cordova.

Rancho Cordova police said that just before 11 p.m. a Sacramento County Sheriff's deputy heard gunshots ring out near Coloma Road and Ranchito Court. While deputies searched for the source of the gunshots, they were waved down by a man with a bleeding hand.

September 28, 2011
Man dead after shootout at Amador marijuana cultivation site

One man is dead and five others are under arrest following a Tuesday night shootout at the site of a commercial marijuana growing operation in rural Amador County.

The Amador County Sheriff's Office received a call at 9:10 p.m. Tuesday from a resident on Carbondale Road who reported hearing several gunshots. At 9:18, a second caller reported hearing 15 to 20 gunshots. One of the callers reported seeing a white full-sized extra cab truck and dark-colored sport utility vehicle leaving the property where the gunshots originated.

Deputies spotted the two vehicles traveling southwest on Carbondale Road. The vehicles took off at high speeds when occupants spotted patrol cars. Deputies lost sight of the white truck as it turned onto Michigan Lone Bar Road but overtook the second vehicle, a green Expedition.

August 30, 2011
Teen files false hit-and-run, was really smoking marijuana

A Placerville teen was in juvenile hall Tuesday, a day after filing a report that he was hit by an SUV while riding his bike to school.

The boy, who suffered a possible shoulder separation and other injuries, apparently rode his bike into a parked car, said Placerville Police Capt. Mike Scott.

The boy concocted the hit-and-run story to cover that he had been with friends, using marijuana, Scott said.

August 13, 2011
Drug arrest in Nevada City park nets $18,000 in cash

Nevada County Sheriff's detectives found $18,000 and more than 5 pounds of marijuana in a car after surveillance in a Nevada City park, officials reported.

The Sheriff's Narcotics Task Force was watching activity in Callahan Park after taking complaints of drug activity.

After observing a drug transaction, they stopped a car and conducted a search of the vehicle, finding $18,000 in cash, the marijuana, an unspecified amount of methamphetamine, a meth pipe and a scale.

Officers arrested Charles Mason, 30, and Wendylyn Clemens, 24, both of Nevada County.

August 13, 2011
Armed men rob Redding marijuana collective

Two men with handguns held up a Redding marijuana collective Friday, taking an unspecified amount of marijuana and a laptop computer, Redding police reported.

The robbery at the Nothern Patients Group took place around 7:30 p.m.

A 21-year-old employee of the collective told police the men entered, forced an interior door and confronted him with guns - a long-barrel revolver and a semi-automatic handgun.

August 10, 2011
State agents arrest 10 in suspected drug ring

State Department of Justice officials said agents took down a drug trafficking organization on Wednesday, arresting 10 people.

A four-month investigation led to the arrests. The alleged drug trafficking organization targeted by the DOJ's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement spread over six counties, including Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado.

Major marijuana grow sites were found in El Dorado, Shasta and Napa counties. Thousands of plants, several firearms and two pounds of crystal methamphetamine were seized.

Search warrants were issued, including seven for structures in Placer, Sacramento and Butte counties, a DOJ spokeswoman said.

August 9, 2011
AP: Massive Northern Calif. pot raids net 630K plants

UKIAH, Calif. -- Law enforcement officials say they've concluded a massive raid of illegal marijuana grows on public lands in the heart of Northern California's pot country, and it netted 132 arrests.

Read the full story here.

August 1, 2011
South Lake Tahoe PD: Man arrested on gun, drug, obscene photo charges

Zamosky.jpgA 57-year-old South Lake Tahoe man has been arrested on a variety of charges, including possession of an obscene photo, according to police.

Jim Zamosky (photo right) was booked into El Dorado County Jail on charges of supplying marijuana to a minor, being a felon in possession of a firearm and posession of obscene matter, police said.

July 29, 2011
Five Oroville men indicted for marijuana growing, distribution

Five Oroville men have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Sacramento for participating in marijuana cultivation and distribution.

The grand jury Thursday returned a six-count indictment charging the men for conspiring to cultivate marijuana and ship it to New York.

July 28, 2011
Man sentenced to prison for growing marijuana on public land

A man from Michoacan, Mexico, has been sentenced to prison for cultivating marijuana on public land.

Nemesio Reyna Ortega, 20, was sentenced in Sacramento by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. to three years and one month in prison.

According to court documents, law enforcement agents raided a marijuana-growing operation in a rural area of Tehama Count on Aug. 6, 2010, arresting Ortega and co-defendant Jose Pelayo, 37, also from Mexico. Agents found 5,344 marijuana plants at the grow site, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

July 25, 2011
Isleton fires back at grand jury over marijuana farm

By Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

Isleton's planned marijuana farm may be dead, but officials from the Delta hamlet are alive and kicking, and they are not bowing to the findings of a recent grand jury probe of their town.

In a 52-page response to the Sacramento County grand jury investigation, Isleton officials say the panel's report on the planned marijuana project was filled with errors, ignored important facts and needlessly cost the cash-strapped town $100,000 to defend itself.

"Despite hearing testimony from twenty witnesses, the grand jury's eleven page report contains more than fifteen material errors of fact," the report from Isleton City Attorney Dave Larsen and other city officials states.

July 22, 2011
Placer County man arrested with weapons and drugs

Auburn police say they arrested a Placer County man Thursday after receiving a report at 1:09 p.m. that the suspect was selling marijuana out of a five gallon bucket at the Auburn Dam Overlook.

Auburn police officer Stan Hamelin used the license plate of the vehicle associated with the suspect to locate David S. Robles, 21, of Auburn, at his home on Live Oak Lane in Placer County, according to a police department news release.

The department said Robles was wanted on a warrant for a D.U.I. offense. Hamelin found Ketamine, or the "Date Rape" drug, in Robles' possession, along with a .45 caliber handgun, a switchblade, and hashish, the news release said.

The officer followed a lead to a storage facility where he found more marijuana, the release said.

Robles is being held in Placer County Jail for possession of the gun, knife, narcotics and narcotics for sales.



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