Lucerne Valley, CA: Suspects used more than 5,000 gallons of water per day for illegal marijuana grow.
According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, at 12:20pm PT on Wednesday, July 8th, 2015, members of the Sheriff’s Marijuana Enforcement Team served several search warrants for illegal marijuana cultivation operations at residences in the High Desert area of the San Bernardino County, California.
Investigators found outdoor marijuana cultivations on these properties in violation of the County of San Bernardino’s ordinance.
At all of the locations, which included Waalew Road in Lucerne Valley (Location #1), 34812 Sunswept Drive in Lucerne Valley (Location #2), 30230 Rabbit Springs Road in Lucerne Valley (Location #3), and “0” Rabbit Springs Road in Lucerne Valley (Location #4), the marijuana plants were found growing in unsecured areas.
Each investigation revealed the marijuana growing operation was not in compliance with California medical marijuana laws.
Additionally, all of the locations were in violation of the County of San Bernardino’s ordinance prohibiting outdoor marijuana cultivations and multiple building code violations.
San Bernardino County Land Use / Code Enforcement personnel were present and determined the marijuana cultivation sites were in violation of the ordinance and the other code violations were present.
At one property on Rabbit Springs Road over 1,300 marijuana plants were seized. The plants ranged in height from 4 to 6 feet in height and were in various stages of growth.
At least 2 suspects, 34 year old Carlos Veliz-Fierro of Victorville, California (At Location #4) and 40 year old Jose Gonzalez-Ruiz, who’s a transient and a non United States Citizen (At Location #4), attempted to flee from deputies on foot, but were arrested and taken into police custody.
The investigation revealed the property owner, 66 year old Michael Beck of Lucerne Valley, California (At Location #4), entered into an agreement and leased/rented a portion of his property to grow marijuana.
Carlos Veliz-Fierro and Jose Gonzalez-Ruiz were hired to take care and maintain the plants.
Investigators also discovered that 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of water per day was being used to upkeep and water the plants.
Carlos Veliz-Fierro and Jose Gonzalez-Ruiz were booked into the San Bernardino County jail for cultivating marijuana and possessing marijuana for sales.
Charges against Michael Beck will be sent to the District Attorney’s Office for review.
Investigators arrested 24 year old Eric Saul Aguilar of Sacramento, California (At Location #3) without incident at a location next door to the Rabbit Springs Road location.
Eric Saul Aguilar was found cultivating marijuana on this property.
Over 800 marijuana plants and a large amount of harvested/processed marijuana was found at this location.
Eric Saul Aguilar claimed he was growing the marijuana for a marijuana delivery service named Green Thumb Delivery Service.
Over 850 documents containing the personal information for alleged members of this delivery service was exposed and kept in an unsecure area outside in the garden area.
This information included the names, birth dates, physical description and addresses of persons.
Law Enforcement caution the public to be weary of the information they provide to businesses or individuals because of the growing problem relating to Identity Theft.
Eric Saul Aguilar was arrested for cultivation of marijuana and possessing marijuana for sales in Riverside County in May 2015.
He faces the same charges for his participation in this criminal investigation and was booked into the San Bernardino County jail.
The County of San Bernardino’s ordinance prohibiting outdoor marijuana cultivations has been in effect for some time now.
Property owners who have been contacted by individuals interested in renting or leasing their property for the purpose of growing marijuana should be cautious and contact Land Use Services to confirm the growing operation is within the conditions set forth by the County of San Bernardino.
Property owners may be issued citations and held responsible for violations found on their property.
This can include civil and criminal penalties, fines or both.
Anyone with information should contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at: 1 (909) 890-4840.
Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-Tip Hotline at: 1 (800) 78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at: http://www.wetip.com