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30 arrested and over 46,000 marijuana plants seized during week 26 of Operation Hammer Strike

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Outdoor Marijuana Cultivations-Operation Hammer Strike, Week 26

VICTOR VALLEY, Calif. (VVNG.com) — The Sheriff’s Department just completed week 26 of Operation Hammer Strike and arrested 30 suspects between February 21, 2022, and February 27, 2022.

Investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET), along with San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputies from several different Patrol Stations, served 30 search warrants at various locations in Lucerne Valley, Twentynine Palms, Oak Hills, Upland, La Puente, Monterey Park, Alhambra, Newberry Springs, Walnut, Phelan, Pinon Hills, and Adelanto.

MET personnel had received numerous complaints about large outdoor and indoor marijuana cultivations in these areas. 

Investigators seized 46,863 marijuana plants, 5,280 pounds of processed marijuana, 11 guns, and over $182,000.00 in cash. Investigators eradicated a total of 185 greenhouses found at these locations and ten indoor locations. Investigators mitigated two electrical bypasses at these locations.

Sheriff’s officials said that over the last 6-months, investigators have served 588 search warrants, which resulted in the seizure of 668,299 marijuana plants, 111,268.8 pounds of processed marijuana, 203 guns, 30.7 pounds of concentrated marijuana, 92.8 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms, 144 grams of meth and cocaine, and $2,399,595.00 in illegal narcotic sales proceeds. Investigators have mitigated 15 THC extraction labs and 28 electrical bypasses and have recovered seven stolen vehicles. A total of 4,124 greenhouses have been eradicated.

“Thus far, during the operation, a total of 109,593 marijuana plants, 13,120.5 pounds of processed marijuana, 24 guns, and 91 arrests came out of the Lucerne Valley area. The teams in the Morongo Valley area, which includes Wonder Valley, Landers, Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, and Johnson Valley, seized 60,758 marijuana plants, 9,147.1 pounds of processed marijuana, and 14 guns seized, while 75 arrests were made and two THC labs were mitigated. A total of 140,133 marijuana plants, 18,331.6 pounds of processed marijuana, and 31 guns were seized from the Barstow, Hinkley, Newberry Springs area, and 136 arrests were made. The team assigned to Phelan, Pinon Hills, El Mirage, Helendale, Oro Grande, Adelanto, and Oak Hills area seized 151,775 marijuana plants, 30,831.6 pounds of processed marijuana, and 57 guns. A total of 167 arrests were made, and one THC lab was mitigated. Various other communities in the county had 143,039 marijuana plants, 20,871.1 pounds of processed marijuana, and 36 guns seized, along with 89 arrests and nine mitigated THC labs. A total of 36 search warrants were served at locations outside San Bernardino County, which resulted in 73 arrests and the seizure of over $1,600,000.00.”

SBSD — Headquarters

The investigations revealed the cannabis cultivations were not in compliance with California’s Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) and San Bernardino County’s ordinance prohibiting Commercial Cannabis Activity. San Bernardino County has a law prohibiting Commercial Cannabis Activity, which includes growing marijuana plants outdoors.  

Property owners who are growing marijuana or are aware their tenants are growing marijuana on their properties in violation of the state law and local ordinances may also be subject to civil or criminal sanctions.

Property owners are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement or code compliance agency to confirm if cultivating cannabis is prohibited or allowed under specific regulations.

The following suspects were cited or booked on charges of Cultivation of Cannabis, over six plants, Possession for Sales of Marijuana, Illegal Water Discharge, and Conspiracy.

  • Bullfrano Caligula, 32 year old male resident of Mexico. Location #5
  • Steve Henry, 59 year old male resident of Twentynine Palms, CA. Location #7
  • Connor Hughes, 27 year old male resident of Twentynine Palms, CA. Location #7
  • Rebecca Hallandt, 56 year old female resident of Twentynine Palms, CA. Location #7
  • Dwighla Stevens, 34 year old female resident of Twentynine Palms, CA. Location #7
  • David Suastes, 29 year old male resident of Porterville, CA. Location #8
  • Onechanh Shiarath, 56 year old male resident of Los Angeles, CA. Location #10
  • Say Saeng, 48 year old male resident of Twentynine Palms, CA. Location #10
  • Oudone Thammavong, 58 year old male resident of Milwaukee, WI. Location #11
  • Samarn Phrakousonh, 73 year old male resident of Milwaukee, WI. Location #11
  • Kahmveuy Phanthuourath, 74 year old male resident of Milwaukee, WI. Location #11
  • Xu Shi, 34 year old female resident of Oak Hills, CA. Location #12
  • Lie Huang, 61 year old male resident of Oak Hills, CA. Location #12
  • Hoang Thi, 66 year old female resident of Quincy, MA. Location #12
  • Li Chen, 36 year old male resident of La Puente, CA. Location #16
  • Yijun Zhou, 32 year old female resident of La Puente, CA. Location #16
  • James Wilson, 65 year old male resident of Newberry Springs, CA. Location #17
  • Jian Lui, 42 year old male resident of Castro Valley, CA. Location #20
  • Hao Thich, 21 year old male resident of Rosemead, CA. Location #21
  • Zongjie Hu, 27 year old male resident of Rosemead, CA. Location #21
  • Irving Lin, 71 year old male resident of Monterey Park, CA. Location #22, #23, #24 and #25
  • Dai Lin Wang, 71 year old female resident of Monterey Park, CA. Location #25
  • Miguel Melendez, 34 year old male resident of San Jose, CA. Location #29
  • Kevin Melendez, 21 year old male resident of San Jose, CA. Location #29
  • Elisandra Escalera-Barajas, 29 year old male resident of San Jose, CA. Location #29
  • Mario Melendez, 34 year old male resident of Las Vegas, NV. Location #29
  • Manuel Guillen, 34 year old male resident of Mexico. Location #30
  • Uriel Madrigal, 41 year old male resident of Mexico. Location #30
  • Juan Pulido, 50 year old male resident of Mexico. Location #30
  • Jose Gomez, 38 year old male resident of Corning, CA. Location #30

LIST OF LOCATIONS:

#1 – Parcel with no address, Lucerne Valley
#2 – Parcel with no address, Lucerne Valley
#3 – Parcel with no address, Lucerne Valley
#4 – Parcel with no address, Lucerne Valley
#5 – Parcel with no address, Lucerne Valley
#6 – Parcel with no address, Lucerne Valley
#7 – 2200 Block of Shoshone Valley, Twentynine Palms
#8 – Parcel with no address, Twentynine Palms
#9 – 69500 Block of Papoose Trail, Twentynine Palms
#10 – Parcel with no address, Twentynine Palms
#11 – 77500 Block of Raymond Drive, Twentynine Palms
#12 – 9200 Block of Daisy, Oak Hills
#13 – 6000 Block of Outpost Road, Oak Hills
#14 – 13700 Block of Mission Street, Oak Hills
#15 – 800 Block of Ponte Vecchio Court, Upland
#16 – 600 Block of Van Wig Avenue, La Puente
#17 – 33600 Block of Minneola Road, Newberry Springs
#18 – 41100 Block of Silver Valley Road, Newberry Springs
#19 – 41800 Block of Silver Valley Road, Newberry Springs
#20 – Parcel with no address, Newberry Springs
#21 – Parcel with no address, Newberry Springs
#22 – 600 Block of Calle Valle, Walnut
#23 – 100 Block of North Alhambra, Monterey Park
#24 – 2100 Block of West Mission, Alhambra
#25 – 100 Block of North Alhambra, Monterey Park
#26 – 15200 Block of Sheep Creek, Phelan
#27 – Parcel with no address, Pinon Hills
#28 – 700 Block of Cactus Road, Adelanto
#29 – Parcel with no address, Phelan
#30 – 13600 Block of Wilson Ranch Road, Phelan

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909)387-8400 or NARC-MET@sbcsd.org. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463), or you may leave the information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.

The Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division will continue to enforce California’s cannabis laws and San Bernardino County’s ordinance regarding cannabis cultivation and distribution. Persons found guilty of violating the state law and county ordinance are subject to fines, prosecution, and seizure of property.  

Outdoor Marijuana Cultivations-Operation Hammer Strike, Week 26
(Photo courtesy SBSD Headquarters)

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