A San Diego man accused of using more than a dozen homes in Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties exclusively to cultivate marijuana illegally was charged Wednesday with 70 felony offenses and booked into jail.
Chiaming Tim Hsu, 41, was taken into custody during a multi-warrant sweep targeting each of the homes he leased in Chino, Chino Hills, Hacienda Heights, Murrieta, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside and Temecula.
The criminal complaint against Hsu includes allegations of conspiracy, identity theft, maintaining a residence for the purpose of illicit activity, theft of utilities and vandalism.
Hsu was arrested without incident at the Rowland Heights property and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, where he’s being held in lieu of $540,000 bail.
According to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, one condition of his bail is a requirement that he prove any funds used to enable his release from jail not have been procured through his alleged criminal enterprise.
During the Cannabis Regulation Task Force raids, nine people allegedly employed by Hsu to tend to his marijuana plants were also arrested, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office Public Information Officer John Hall said. None of their names were released.
Thirteen homes were searched, and Hall said 18,778 cannabis plants were seized.
“Bedrooms and other rooms in the homes were filled with cannabis plants in various stages of growth,” according to Hall.
Prosecutors allege $275,000 in electrical supplies were stolen as part of the multi-property grow operation.
Hsu is tentatively slated to be arraigned Friday at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
The Cannabis Regulation Task Force, whose members include deputies, prosecutors, probation agents and officers from several municipal law enforcement agencies, has been conducting raids on a regular basis since last fall, mainly targeting illegal storefront marijuana dispensaries.
There was no word on when the investigation into Hsu’s alleged illegal drug-making began.