A 43-year-old San Diego man accused of using more than a dozen homes in Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties exclusively to illegally cultivate marijuana must stand trial on 110 felony charges, a judge ruled Monday.
Chiaming Tim Hsu was arrested in November 2019 during a multi-warrant sweep targeting each of the homes he leased in Chino, Chino Hills, Hacienda Heights, Murrieta, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside and Temecula.
Following a preliminary hearing at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, Riverside County Superior Court Judge F. Paul Dickerson found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on all counts, which include conspiracy, identity theft, maintaining a residence for the purpose of illicit activity, theft of utilities and vandalism.
The judge set a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Oct. 8. Hsu remains free on a $540,000 bond.
During Cannabis Regulation Task Force raids on Oct. 30, 2019, nine people allegedly employed by Hsu to tend the defendant’s marijuana plants were arrested, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. None but him were named, and he alone was charged in the case.
Thirteen homes were searched, resulting in the seizure of 18,778 cannabis plants, DA’s office spokesman John Hall said.
“Bedrooms and other rooms in the homes were filled with cannabis plants in various stages of growth,” he said earlier.
Prosecutors allege $275,000 in electrical supplies were stolen as part of the multi-property grow operation.
The Cannabis Regulation Task Force, whose members include sheriff’s deputies, prosecutors, probation agents and officers from several municipal law enforcement agencies, has been conducting raids on a regular basis since 2018, mainly targeting illegal storefront marijuana dispensaries in cities.
It was unclear when the investigation into Hsu’s alleged illegal drug-making began. He has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.
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