CARPINTERIA - On April 24, 2019, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) wardens assisted the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Cannabis Compliance Team with the execution of a search warrant near Carpinteria.
The warrant was served at a suspected illegal indoor commercial cannabis site. The search warrant was the result of a lengthy investigation involving an invalid cannabis license and numerous neighborhood complaints. During the search, law enforcement officers located approximately 35,000 cannabis plants in various stages of growth, clones and nearly 200 pounds of dried product. The facility also appeared to have an inoperable odor mitigation system and large commercial generators, which appeared to be used to offset the power required to operate the facility. Upon conclusion of the investigation, all planted cannabis was eradicated, and the dried product and other evidence was seized.
As the investigation continued, a related search warrant was served on April 25, 2019 just outside the City of Lompoc. Although no planted cannabis was located at that site, law enforcement officers suspected the location was being actively prepped for an approximate 29-acre outdoor cannabis grow.
The owner of the operation declined to meet with detectives at the time of the search warrant service, but a court date for his mandatory appearance was provided to his attorney’s office.
Due to the active nature of this investigation, no further information will be released.
“It’s imperative that law enforcement officers investigate unlicensed and illegal cannabis operations in California to one, protect the licensed businesses and two, to protect that public from product that has not been tested by the state,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “In addition, CDFW wardens can identify any environmental hazards that result from illegal operations.”