Three Northern California residents were arrested in connection to an illegal marijuana grow worth $467,000 found at an Orland residence on July 26.
Those involved told law enforcement they were growing the garden for personal use, and believed they were in compliance with Proposition 64 – state legislation legalizing recreational marijuana.
The arrests were made after a search warrant was issued for the residence by the Glenn Inter-agency Narcotics Task Force, Glenn County Sheriff’s Department and the Glenn County Probation Department.
During the search, three people – Jose Flores-Lugo, 54, of Corning; Yulibed Flores-Guadarrama, 30, of Corning and Tanner Smith, 24, of Chico – were found inside of the home. The house, in the 4000 block of County Road C, contained about 460 immature cannabis plants, in addition to seven pounds of processed marijuana.
Proposition 64 allows state residents to grow up to six plants inside their home; the garden found by police is clearly outside the legal limit.
“A lot of people don’t understand Prop. 64 completely,” said Detective Greg Felton, acting sergeant for the narcotics agency. “They thought it was legal now. This was behind a residence – about an acre of marijuana.”
While those arrested claimed they were unwittingly growing an excessive amount of plants, Felton isn’t confident in their story. The case is still under investigation.
“There was no evidence of anybody living at the residence, so we suspect they’re working for somebody,” Felton said. “We don’t know at this point.”
The immature plants are not worth much at their current stage, according to Felton, but they’d be worth about $460,000 when full grown. Felton said this is one of the smallest grow sites the agency has found – most are discovered in the Mendocino National Forest and cover a few acres.
Growing over the legal limit is considered a misdemeanor in the state. All three suspects were booked into county jail with a bail of $100,000.