Hundreds of cannabis plants were seized at a property north of Moreno Valley where an outdoor cultivation operation was set up, resulting in four arrests, authorities said Friday.
Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Enforcement Team served a warrant at the residence in the 28000 block of Walther Avenue, near Vista Suelto Road, Thursday morning.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Marcos Acosta alleged deputies confiscated 600 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, as well as 130 pounds of processed product, $10,000 cash, a firearm and equipment used to support the illegal grow.
Abraham Botello, 28, Osvaldo Botello, 24, Luis Gomez, 24, and Jose Gonzalez, 24 — all of Moreno Valley — were arrested on suspicion of illegal cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale. They were issued criminal citations and released from custody hours later.
Acosta said that the property contained a “watering system, multiple gallons of chemicals and lighting associated with the cultivation of marijuana.”
“These grows often drain water, heavily polluted with chemicals from the grow, into the sewage drainage system that is not designed for such use,” the sergeant said.
Deputies have conducted numerous raids on properties throughout unincorporated Moreno Valley, the Temescal Valley, Lake Elsinore, La Cresta and neighboring communities over the past two years, targeting illegal grows.
The Board of Supervisors has authorized some indoor cultivation sites in unincorporated areas, but the enterprises are strictly regulated and limited to commercially zoned locations.
No outdoor marijuana cultivation sites have been approved by the board.