An alleged illegal commercial marijuana growing operation in Corning was busted Monday, April 19, hidden within an olive orchard at the intersection of Viola and Orchard avenues, according to the Tehama County District Attorney's Bureau of Investigations.
The bureau, with assistance from Tehama County Department of Environmental Health, served a search warrant at the Corning site, as well as a property on the 10400 block of 68th Avenue in Los Molinos, where another alleged illegal pot garden was busted.
Bureau Chief Investigator Eric Clay said the two properties were not related to each other, but both had been identified as potential criminal marijuana growing locations.
Three adults were arrested at the properties, Fidel Meraz, 44, of Tehama, Juan Javier Berrera, 54, and 33-year-old Josue Iciais Sanchez Berrera, both of Santa Rosa. All three were booked into the Tehama County Jail on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale and cultivation of marijuana.
In addition, a 17-year-old male juvenile was found at one of the locations helping with the illegal grow, Clay said.
The teen was taken into protective custody and released to Tehama County Child Protective Services, with charges pending in Tehama County Juvenile Court.
At the two sites combined, six greenhouses around 50 feet by 100 feet were located and total of 1,705 growing marijuana plants seized and destroyed.