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Week 19: Operation Hammer Strike seizes over 3,000 pounds of marijuana, 92 pounds of mushrooms and 15 arrested

January 17, 2022 – The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department reports between January 3, 2022, and January 9, 2022, investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET), along with San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputies from several different Patrol Stations, served 31 search warrants at various locations in Lucerne Valley, Morongo Valley, Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms, Adelanto, Hesperia, Pinon Hills, Phelan, Fontana, Victorville, Newberry Springs, El Mirage, Upland, and El Monte.  MET personnel had received numerous complaints about large outdoor and indoor marijuana cultivations in these areas.  Over this past week, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s personnel located and arrested 15 suspects.  Investigators seized 12,370 marijuana plants, 3,361.7 pounds of processed marijuana, eight guns, 92.5 pounds of Psilocybin mushrooms, and over $55,000.00 in cash.  Investigators eradicated a total of 122 greenhouses found at these locations, as well as 12 indoor locations.  Investigators mitigated one electrical bypass and recovered one stolen recreational vehicle.

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.  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 ordinance regarding cannabis cultivation and distribution.  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 in violation of the 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.

The suspects were cited or booked on charges of Cultivation of Cannabis, over six plants, Possession for Sales of Marijuana, Illegal Water Discharge, and Conspiracy.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909)387-8400 or NARC-MET@sbcsd.org. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463), or you may leave the information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.

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