The recreational use of marijuana was approved by California voters in 2016, but that does not mean that arrests for cultivating and distributing the drug have ended. On June 5, a marijuana eradication operation involving almost two dozen law enforcement agencies was conducted in the Anza Valley, which is known to be an area where marijuana is illegally grown on an industrial scale.
Two people were arrested in association with the seizure of several assault rifles and more than 500 pounds of methamphetamine in California. According to news outlets, the methamphetamine seized by law enforcement had a value of $1.25 million on the street. The people who were arrested, a 55-year-old Apple Valley man and a 21-year-old Ontario man, had been under investigation for two months.
Authorities say that three men were taken into custody on drug distribution and money laundering charges. They were charged in a Los Angeles court but were originally taken into custody in Germany in April. The charges stem form their purported roles in running Wall Street Market (WSM), which sold narcotics and other counterfeit items. WSM also sold malicious computer hacking software and stolen data. Authorities say that another man faces similar charges for acting as a moderator on the site.
A 39-year-old man who was convicted on drug trafficking and weapons possession charges following a three-day trial has been sentenced to 100 months in a federal prison. The sentence was handed down on April 19 by a U.S. District Court judge in San Francisco. The judge also ordered four years of supervised release for the man once he has completed his custodial sentence. He has remained in custody since his February 2016 arrest and will begin serving his sentence immediately according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California.
The tactics employed by police officers and federal agents during a recent series of drug and gun raids in California have been harshly criticized by some members of the communities involved. One Tracy resident told reporters that his home had been ransacked and his 9-year-old son left shaken after a SWAT team surrounded his home with weapons drawn on March 26. Reports indicate that police had arrived at the residence to execute the arrest warrant of a 26-year-old man alleged to be involved in drug and illegal weapons sales.
A routine traffic stop on the afternoon of March 23 led to the discovery of a significant amount of drugs and a handgun according to a report from the Long Beach Police Department. A 30-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman have been taken into custody in connection with the seized narcotics. Media reports indicate that they are being held in Los Angeles County detention facilities, and their bail has been set at $1 million.
California readers may be interested to learn that San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon recently announced that over 9,300 marijuana-related convictions in San Francisco County have been expunged. The affected convictions date back as far as 1975.
A University of California at Santa Cruz freshman has been indicted on multiple counts of drug possession with the intent to distribute. Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California say that the 18-year-old man created a smartphone application that his fellow students could use to order drugs including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy. The man was indicted on Feb. 14 and released from custody on Feb. 19. If he is found guilty on all charges, he could spend decades in prison and be fined millions of dollars.
California residents may be interested in knowing that Tech billionaire and founder of Broadcom Corp, Henry Nicholas, was formally charged with drug trafficking after his arrest over the summer at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. Nicholas was detained in a hotel room at the Encore with his girlfriend, who is the ex-wife of the heir to the Wells Fargo fortune.
Two people in California's San Diego County were arrested after allegedly committing over 30 burglaries targeting stores, offices and other commercial venues in the area. The two 34-year-old men are being held on allegations that they were involved with burglaries and drug offenses. According to San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokespeople, over $130,000 was taken in the various burglaries.