A felon accused of operating an illegal outdoor marijuana operation in Thermal containing upwards of 1,000 plants, while armed with an assault rifle, was out of custody Wednesday on $10,000 bail.
Javier Perez Diaz, 36, of Mecca was arrested Monday and booked at the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio on suspicion of marijuana cultivation, possessing an assault weapon, and other weapons-related crimes, jail records show.
Diaz was taken into custody during a search warrant execution in the 65300 block of Van Buren Street, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Sgt. Mariano Matos III said deputies were initially investigating an agricultural theft when they discovered an outdoor cannabis grow contained within a makeshift greenhouse. Deputies chopped down 1,321 plants, which were nearly ripened, Matos said.
A handgun and an AK-47 assault rifle, plus magazines and ammunition for both, also were located at the property, the sergeant said.
No commercial cannabis cultivation operations have been licensed in any unincorporated communities within Riverside County.
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