SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of four individuals, including suspected Sureños gang members, and the seizure of an estimated $2 million in marijuana during a California Department of Justice raid of a marijuana growing operation in Sacramento County.
The arrests represent the culmination of a month-long investigation by Special Agents with the California Department of Justice. Agents seized more than 7,000 marijuana plants and 100 pounds of processed marijuana with an estimated street value of $2 million. Two 12-gauge shotguns and one .22 caliber semi automatic handgun were also seized.
“These armed gang members are learning the hard way that operating a massive, illegal drug operation on state property is a very bad idea,” Attorney General Kamala D. Harris said. “I commend the men and women of the California Department of Justice for their continuing efforts to identify and dismantle illegal and dangerous operations like this one.”
In May, California Department of Justice agents began an investigation into suspected members of the Sureño gang in Tulare County who they believed were involved in an illegal marijuana growing operation. The investigation led agents the state-owned Stone Lakes Preserve in Sacramento County, which contained a large-scale illegal marijuana growing, processing and packaging operation.
In a raid on Tuesday, agents arrested Anthony Uasiarez, 34, and Ruben Guzman, 18, both from Mexico, and Jorge Vargas Garcia, 22, and Jose Estrada, 23, both from Tulare County. Garcia and Estrada are suspected Sureños gang members.
The suspects have been booked into the Sacramento County Jail and face charges that include possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation of marijuana, conspiracy and being armed in the commission of a felony. The four individuals are being held on $500,000 bail each.
The Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team (MAVMIT) led the operation and was assisted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. MAVMIT is an investigation team focused on illegal marijuana-related cases.
Photos of items seized during Tuesday’s operation are attached to the electronic version of this press release at http://oag.ca.gov/news.
The charges in the complaints are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.