Under a pilot program in Yolo County, local cannabis growers are getting a crash course in accounting for their plants, products and shipping under California 'track and trace' rules to prevent diversion to the black market. Peter Hecht The Sacramento Bee
Under a pilot program in Yolo County, local cannabis growers are getting a crash course in accounting for their plants, products and shipping under California 'track and trace' rules to prevent diversion to the black market. Peter Hecht The Sacramento Bee

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Estimated $778,000 worth of marijuana seized as Yolo County targets illegal grows

By Cathy Locke

clocke@sacbee.com

October 06, 2017 05:24 PM

UPDATED October 07, 2017 11:06 AM

Four people were arrested and an estimated $778,000 worth of marijuana plants were seized when Yolo County sheriff’s deputies served search warrants at three properties this week.

Although marijuana cultivation in allowed in the county under certain circumstances, it requires a county permit. Illegal marijuana growing operations are being eradicated countywide as authorities become aware of their locations, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

Search warrants were served this week at two sites in Dunnigan and one in Zamora.

On Wednesday, a search of property in the 1000 block of County Road 88 in Dunnigan resulted in removal of 91 growing marijuana plants, 5 pounds of processed marijuana and items related to marijuana sales. Value of the marijuana confiscated at this site was estimated at $273,000. Deputies also seized ammunition found in the possession of a convicted felon, the news release said.

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Gustavo Chavez, 39, of Dunnigan, was booked into the Yolo County jail on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person.

The second search warrant was served Thursday in the 700 block of Eucalyptus Road in Zamora, and also resulted in the seizure of marijuana and firearms.

Ninety-one marijuana plants with an estimated value of $180,000 were removed from the site, the news release said.

Youssef Houraira, 34, of Zamora, was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, conspiracy and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

The third search was conducted Friday in the 3000 block of County Road 89 in Dunnigan, resulting in two arrests and removal of 165 marijuana plants with an estimated value of $325,000 the news release said.

Candida Ponce, 63, and Lorenzo Ponce, 67, both of Dunnigan, were booked into Yolo County jail on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and conspiracy.

Anyone with information regarding illegal marijuana cultivation in Yolo County is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office’s tip line at 530-668-5248. Callers can remain anonymous.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy