On Friday, July 16, investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) and deputies from several patrol stations served eight search warrants at various locations in the Helendale area that were illegally cultivating marijuana.
According to a sheriff’s department press release, starting at approximately 7 a.m. on Friday, investigators served eight search warrants at various locations in the Helendale area that did not have addresses or homes on the property. MET personnel had received numerous complaints about large outdoor marijuana cultivations in the area.
Sheriff’s department personnel located and arrested one suspect ⎯ Juan Nero Contrera, 37, of Mexico ⎯ at the last location warrants were served. All locations were found to be growing cannabis illegally, and investigators seized 5,186 marijuana plants.
The investigations revealed the cannabis cultivations were not in compliance with California’s Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) and San Bernardino County’s ordinance prohibiting commercial cannabis activity. San Bernardino County has a law prohibiting commercial cannabis activity, which includes growing marijuana plants outdoors.
The Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division will continue to enforce California’s cannabis laws and San Bernardino County’s cannabis cultivation and distribution ordinance. People found guilty of violating the state law and county ordinance are subject to fines, prosecution and seizure of property.
Property owners who are growing marijuana or are aware their tenants are growing marijuana on their properties violate state law. Local ordinances may also be subject to civil or criminal sanctions. Property owners are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement or code compliance agency to confirm if cultivating cannabis is prohibited or allowed under specific regulations.
The suspect was cited on charges of cultivation of cannabis, over six plants.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909) 387-8400 or NARC-MET@sbcsd.org. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-tip Hotline at 1 (800) 78-CRIME (27463), or you may leave the information on the We-Tip Hotline at wetip.com.