It is not every day that California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agents bust into a unit at a business park and discover a large hash-oil manufacturing operation. That's what they found on September 5, 2014, when they teamed up with officers from the Cotati and Rhonert Park police departments and detectives from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department and served a search warrant. Acting on a tip, the team of officers seized hundreds of pounds of marijuana, gallons of hash oil, and expensive processing equipment. Days later, they arrested two men in connection with the illegal operation.
"I can't even begin to imagine the danger this hash oil operation presented for people who arrived to work each day at that business park," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) which represents ABC agents. "ABC agents are a huge assistance to local law enforcement officers in cases like this and routinely team up with them to put a stop to illegal alcohol and drug activity. They certainly made that business park a whole lot safer than it was."
Further investigation and search warrants led to the arrest of Joel Walley, 37, of Hopland and his suspected partner Joseph Gallagher, 34, of Sebastopol.
(Source: The Press Democrat - Police find large-scale hash oil-making plant in Cotati
2 arrested following Cotati has oil raid)
In a separate investigation, on September 24, 2014, ABC agents arrested Lloyd Wayne Henrichs, 66, of Sacramento after they discovered and bought distilled spirits at an illegal still operation at his home. Acting on a tip, ABC agents made multiple undercover visits to the home where they were able to purchase distilled beverages Henrichs allegedly called "Apple Pie" and "straight moonshine." Undercover agents were shown the still and given an explanation on how it operated. In addition to seizing a copper still, agents seized approximately 30 gallons of illegally manufactured liquor. Henrichs faces felony charges of illegally manufacturing liquor and possession of an unlicensed still. The felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison and fines up to $2,500.