When the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office conducted a surprise raid at an illegal marijuana-growing site in the area, they found over 368 plants.
As a result, four individuals associated with this activity were arrested.
Alarmed by the large number of plants being grown on the premises, the authorities didn’t stop there. They continued to further search the suspects’ homes and managed to seize more illegal items.
During the raid, located at homes in different parts of Pueblo County, the police seized five weapons and marijuana-growing equipment which will be used as evidence during the court hearing.
The raid was well planned out as the sheriff’s office gathered multiple clues with regards to the growth of illegal marijuana plants in the area.
After shortlisting the locations, they managed to acquire a search warrant early in the morning before the raid was successfully carried out.
Two different locales came under the scrutiny based on insider tips received by the law enforcement office.
One of them was the 1800 block at the 58th Lane, while another house was at the 5000 block located at Quail Road. They were informed that a group of people are illegally growing pot.
On arrival, the team found that three separate commercial-type marijuana grows were in place along with a total of 85 pot plants.
These pieces of evidence were gathered at the 58th Lane house, after which they proceeded to the second address.
Three individuals who were residing in the house, Jose Alberto Gonzalez aged 31, Yoandris Bacallao Ramos aged 40 and Sergio Luis Martinez Suarez aged 44, were all put under arrest.
The police claim that they have arrested these people under the suspicion that they were growing marijuana with an intent to sell in the market.
A bigger surprise awaited the team when they arrived at the Quail Road residence. Two large outdoor cultivation areas were dedicated to grow pot plants and a combined number of 368 plants were seized, according to reports.
A resident of the Quail Road home, 50-year-old Francisco Jose Sanchez, was arrested on suspicion of the crimes.
He was booked under multiple cases because apart from cultivating marijuana in large quantities with an intent to distribute them, he also possessed a weapon.
Sanchez is a previous offender in a different case and was considered a special offender because of the weapon he possessed.
The arrested suspects were later moved to the Pueblo County jail and are expected to be produced in court when summoned.
With such strong evidence against them, the sheriff’s office believes their bail may not be approved by the court, but it is to be seen how this case develops. It could put an end to illegal cultivation in the county.
According to the reports by the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, all the suspects who were arrested in different locations know each other and were planning joint operations to make money through their cultivation.
The total number of marijuana grows are valued at $1 million.
They further added that once all the plants are grown and ready to be shipped, these suspects would pack the items and sell them to a different state.
Considering the large quantities, they may ship them internationally to other countries as well, based on the demand.
Commenting on the case, Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor said that this was not the first occurrence. Many individuals come out of the state only to grow marijuana illegally on this soil and later sell the product in the black market.
The sheriff added he is more disturbed by the fact that this happens in every corner of the country. As a result, he said he and his team are working to bust such illegal activities.
The sheriff’s office in Pueblo worked closely with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
Their expertise and manpower were necessary to successfully complete the bust, especially when they discovered that the suspects were in possession of weapons. The takedown was a dangerous mission for which they were prepared.
This is not the first time that such a massive weed bust has taken place. The authorities are continuously working to find illegal marijuana setups and arrest the people behind it.
Earlier this month, they conducted a similar raid which was successful, and this time through proper planning, the team managed to nab four suspects and recover plants worth over a million dollars.
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