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Search warrants served at illegal marijuana grows in Oro Grande and Helendale

HELENDALE, Calif. ( — Authorities served three search warrants targeting illegal marijuana operations in the communities of Oro Grande and Helendale.

The warrants were served at about 7:00 am., on Thursday, July 8, 2021, by investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET), and deputies from several patrol stations, 

Sheriff’s officials said MET personnel received numerous complaints about large outdoor marijuana cultivations at the following locations:

#1 – Indian Trails and National Trails Highway, Helendale
#2 – 15700 Block of Crouch Road, Helendale
#3 – 24400 Block of Ledbury Road, Oro Grande

During the searches, Investigators seized 3,216 marijuana plants and one rifle. The following three suspects were arrested:

  • Torino Sanchez, 65-year-old male, resident of San Bernardino – location #1
  • Juventino Vallalba, 55-year-old-female, resident of San Bernardino – location #1
  • Ramon Martinez, 41-year-old-male, resident of Mexico – location #3

“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,” stated a sheriff’s news release. “San Bernardino County has a law prohibiting Commercial Cannabis Activity, which includes growing marijuana plants outdoors.”

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

Property owners who are growing marijuana or are aware their tenants are growing marijuana on their properties violate 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. (photo courtesy SBSD Headquarters)

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