Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Over Three and a Half Tons of Processed Cannabis Seized—Single Largest Seizure in Lake County History


The following is a press release issued by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

On February 8th, 2022 The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Roadmap Task force and the Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement Unit, conducted an investigation regarding water theft in the area of Henderson Dr. in Clearlake Oaks.  

During their investigation, Detectives located three residences used to dry and process marijuana.  The investigation revealed all three residences were being used to illegally process marijuana for sales and were connected with the reported theft of water.  The residences were secured by detectives and a search warrant for all three residences was obtained and executed in the late afternoon of February 8th.  

Detectives located and seized a 12gauge shotgun, two thousand three hundred twenty six (2,326) marijuana plants and approximately seven thousand six hundred pounds (7,600lbs) of processed marijuana, a large majority of which was packaged and ready for sale.  The marijuana is estimated to have an approximate value of seven million dollars.   

Detectives contacted and detained Salvador Diaz Maciel, 52, at one of the residences.  Maciel was subsequently arrested and initially booked at the Lake County Correctional Facility for illegal cultivation and processing of marijuana.  

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The seizure of seven thousand six hundred pounds is the single largest seizure of processed marijuana by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, to date.

Sheriff Martin said, “while licensed cannabis growers struggle to remain compliant with the regulations required of this industry, and further struggle to remain financially viable while dealing with the associated costs, such as fees, permits, and taxes, there continues to be a black market for this product.  Operations such as this one pump large amounts of unregulated and untaxed cannabis into the market.  They avoid the costs that legitimate growers have to encumber by stealing water, avoiding taxes, and not complying with any regulations.  These operations adversely impact the legal industry, have negative impacts on the environment, and are frequently the cause of other criminal activity.  We will continue our efforts against large scale illegal operations such as this one.”

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the Lake County Roadmap Task Force or Lake County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement Unit at 707-262-4200.         

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  1. Why do they target little growers when these massive grows do so much damage? I saw many of the busts last year for less than 100 plants. That is not worth the man hours for law and court. I’ll bet most big growers pay police to leave them alone. That is how Joe Kennedy did his dirty work during prohibition.
    Do like Kentucky does with Burley Tobacco. Every farm is permitted so much, they can sell their permit to other farms if they don’t want to grow. This keeps America’s best tobacco price stable. But no, California wants to tax small business out of business. Big wine and big dope industries get all the tax breaks

    • I think you’ve conflated the law enforcement raids of larger farms with the code abatement actions by the building and planning dept of smaller grows.

      Major difference between the separate agencies and applicable laws/ordinances.

  2. Prohibition creates crime and corruption all through out history yet we still think banning something is a solution. I will bet there is not a cop, judge, or DA who has not accepted bribes in Mendocino County. The Untouchables was a government propaganda program. Eliot Ness was a myth. A scrawny Jew made most prohibition arrests. All the other took the money and looked away. Prohibition destroyed America and we never recovered from its damage. Prohibition did more harm than the Civil War

  3. Anyone who has a grower friend KNOWS they are lucky to get $500.00 a pound right now on the white market. Black market is as low as 2-400 so to say 7600 pounds is worth 7 MILLION is a flat out lie.

  4. 500 black market if you are lucky. Many sitting on 1000’s that can’t get 300. Just got a job after 20 years of growing and I am excited to move on. The taxes and fees are insane but not much different than running any other business in this demented state.

  5. Good work, maybe that will get rid of a few dirtbags! But you know all that wasn’t grown right there. Follow up on the actual grow sites.

  6. 7,600lbs x inflated law enforcement value. Back in the 70’s when CAMP would give a value of a seizure it was based on the per gram cost and it was the weight of the whole fresh plants with full foliage broken down to grams…The “war” on drugs had inflated numbers just like enemy body counts in the Vietnam war…. If you like smoking weed grow yourself a few plants, and put all these criminal growers outta business !

    • Also, they would often rip the plants out of the ground/pot and include the weight of roots and ball and any clinging soil weigh in.

      But, not exactly in their defense, the price values are often begged more towards their “Street Value”.
      How many people buy elbows on the street?

      7600lbs broken down to ounces and smaller through street distribution is probably not too too far off of their $7M “market value” vs value to the grower/processor..

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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