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Search warrants target large pot-growing operations in Nevada County

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A Modesto man was arrested after the Nevada County Sheriff's Office responded to citizen complaints about a large, commercial-size marijuana growing operation near Grass Valley.

Sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant Tuesday in the 13000 block of Wolf Road, where they located more than 1,400 marijuana plants, several more than than 10 feet tall, being grown in large greenhouses. They also found a sophisticated butane honey oil manufacturing laboratory, two loaded firearms and several separate packages of butane honey oil that they suspect was intended for sale, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

This was the fourth time the Sheriff’s Office had been to the property to investigate marijuana cultivation. In July and October 2016 and in January 2017, deputies issued “notices to abate” to Charlie Cantrell, 42, of Modesto,for violating the county’s marijuana nuisance ordinance, the news release said.

Cantrell was arrested this week on suspicion of illegal cultivation of marijuana and manufacturing a controlled substance. He was booked into the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility in Nevada City, with bail set at $35,000.

Ten other people, ranging in age from 18 to 48, were found living in tents and trailers on the property. They were from Sacramento, Los Angeles, Modesto, Indiana and Tennessee, the news release said.

The Sheriff’s Office, in the last week has served warrants at other sites believed to harbor cartel-type growing operations, the news release said.

On Aug. 31, with the assistance of the U.S. Forest Service, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force served a search warrant on Forest Service land off Omega Road, where they found a total of 1,224 marijuana plants. While serving the warrant, deputies located another grow on Forest Service land in 10000 block of Alpha Road, where 727 plants were located.

On Wednesday, the task force, with the assistance of the Forest Service, served another search warrant on Forest Service land off of Graniteville Road and eradicated 582 marijuana plants.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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