Since the first of the year, the sheriff’s Marijuana Enforcement Team has seized more than 54,000 illegal marijuana plants in remote areas of the High Desert.
The latest raid was at 8 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, in the unincorporated area of Phelan. Investigators seized 6,588 marijuana plants.
After receiving complaints about large outdoor marijuana cultivations in the area, investigators served five search warrants, according to a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department press release.
They located and arrested two suspects — Rangel Villareal, 32, and Jessica Calleros, 31, both residents of Phelan — during the service of a search warrant at 12200 block of Windermere Road. They also discovered 241 pounds of processed marijuana.
Investigators also mitigated a dangerous electrical bypass at 4100 block of Snowline Road. Illegal electrical bypasses are an extreme fire hazard that endangers the residents, said the release. All locations were operating independently, and no criminal enterprise connection was found.
The investigations revealed the cannabis cultivations were not in compliance with California’s Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and San Bernardino County’s ordinance prohibiting commercial cannabis activity. San Bernardino County has an ordinance 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 violate state law, and local ordinances may also be subject to civil or criminal sanctions.
Published: February 25, 2021