A 22-year-old man who operated an indoor marijuana grow in Wildomar that contained hundreds of plants and allegedly caused damage to the property was sentenced Tuesday to a year of probation.
Rene Robert Luna of Wildomar pleaded guilty in October to illegal cultivation of cannabis and theft of utilities, both misdemeanors. In exchange for his admissions, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office dropped a related charge.
Superior Court Judge Judith Clark certified the terms of the plea agreement and imposed the sentence stipulated by the prosecution and defense. In addition to probation, Clark ordered Luna to spend two months in a sheriff’s work release program, during which time he’ll need to be employed or attend school.
The judge further ordered him to pay $12,856 in victim restitution, related to the electricity theft.
Charges against Luna’s former co-defendant, 41-year-old James Everett Hill, were dismissed last year for lack of evidence.
The two men were arrested after a September 2019 Riverside County sheriff’s raid on the grow site in the 32000 block of Trailwood Court, near Union Street.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Glenn Warrington, area residents had complained to the sheriff’s department about the possibility of illegal cannabis cultivation occurring at the property.
Following an investigation, deputies obtained a search warrant and served it at the house, seizing 430 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, Warrington said.
“In addition, the electrical supply to the residence had been illegally altered allowing for the theft of electrical services,” he said. “There were additional rooms still in the process of being converted to grow rooms.”
Because of the major interior alterations to the house, code enforcement officials declared it uninhabitable, according to Warrington.
Luna had no documented prior felony or misdemeanor convictions in Riverside County.
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