Illegal Marijuana Grows in Anza Targeted in Crackdown

Multiple raids were carried out Wednesday in the Anza Valley, where Riverside County sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement personnel targeted illegal marijuana grows, seizing an unspecified quantity of raw and processed product and arresting five people.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Albert Martinez said 80 search warrants were served at properties under investigation for illegal cultivation of cannabis. The raids got underway between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., though specific locations were not disclosed.

Officials also did not immediately release details about the arrests.

The unincorporated Anza area is known for pot farms, and some residents have been open about their intent to continue cultivating marijuana despite the county’s recent implementation of a comprehensive regulatory framework that requires growers to go through a step-by-step licensing process, which includes background checks.

When the Board of Supervisors held hearings on the licensing regime earlier this year and last fall, several Anza Valley residents complained that it was too onerous.

No commercial grow permits have been approved by the board yet.

The county’s Cannabis Regulation Task Force, whose members include deputies, prosecutors, probation agents and officers from several municipal law enforcement agencies, has been conducting raids on a regular basis since last fall, mainly targeting illegal storefront marijuana dispensaries in cities.

The following individuals were arrested for related crimes:

1) 63-year-old Hien Dinhnguyen from Hemet
Charge 11358 HS Cultivate Marijuana

2) 48-year-old Guoyong Jiang from Rosemead
Charge 182 PC Conspiracy

3) 61-year-old Quynn Hoang from Oakland
Charge 182 PC Conspiracy

4) 44-year-old Dehvi Zheng from Anza
Charge 11358 HS Cultivate Marijuana

5) 64-year-old Tieu Hoang from Oakland
Charge 11358 HS Cultivate Marijuana

6) 66-year-old Fu Cnang from Aguanga
Charge 182 PC Conspiracy

7) 31-year-old Zhenfu Lin from Anza
Charge 11358 HS Cultivate Marijuana

8) 33-year-old Felix Hernan from Mexico
Charge 1551 PC Fugitive

The success of the search warrants resulted in the confiscation of:

140,877 marijuana plants (estimated at $189 million dollars street)

3,037 pounds of processed marijuana

17 rifles and 10 handguns

70 tons of plants disposed

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