Two men suspected of operating illegal cannabis grows in Cherry Valley, where several hundred marijuana plants were seized, were out of custody Friday.
Michael Scott Clark, 31, and Michael Joseph Deforge, 34, both of Cherry Valley, were arrested Thursday on suspicion of illegal cultivation of marijuana and possession of controlled substances for sale, both misdemeanors.
The suspects were issued criminal citations ordering them to appear in court before the end of the year and released from custody.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Jonathan Bodnar, deputies on Thursday served warrants at two locations — one on High Street, and the other on Rome Beauty Way — identified as illicit grows by investigators.
While searching the properties, deputies located about 200 marijuana plants in various stages of growth and 10 pounds of processed weed, all of which was confiscated, Bodnar said.
Clark was taken into custody without incident at the High Street residence, while Deforge was taken into custody without a struggle at the Rome Beauty property.
Deputies have conducted numerous raids on properties throughout the Anza Valley, Cherry Valley, 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 operations have been approved by the board.
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