SACRAMENTO – Special agents with the California Department of Justice (DOJ) arrested four men and dismantled a huge marijuana growing, processing and packaging operation that was set up on state land. During the bust, special agents seized $2 million dollars in marijuana and several firearms.
The raid took place Tuesday, June 18, at the Stone Lakes Preserve in south Sacramento County. Special agents discovered 7,000 marijuana plants and 100 pounds of processed marijuana. They also seized two 12-gauge shotguns and one .22 caliber semi automatic handgun.
Arrested were 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 arrests are the result of a month-long investigation that involved suspected gang members in Tulare County. That investigation lead special agents to the state-owned Stone Lakes Preserve in Sacramento County.
"Marijuana grow operations with armed suspects on public land create a dangerous situation for unsuspecting visitors," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). CSLEA represents 7,000 state law enforcement, public safety and consumer protection professionals, including DOJ special agents. "Special agents are in the path of that kind of danger throughout the state as they investigate gang, drug and illegal gun activity. "
The suspects were booked into the Sacramento County Jail on charges that include possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation of marijuana, conspiracy and being armed in the commission of a felony.