Sheriff's Department

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department

A Fontana resident was one of 15 suspects arrested during the seventh week of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department's ongoing crackdown on illegal marijuana cultivation, authorities said.

Ivan Gomez, 31, was taken into custody after a search warrant was served in the 7000 block of Jade Avenue in Fontana during the implementation of Operation Hammer Strike the week of Oct. 11-17, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Overall, investigators from the Sheriff's Department’s Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET), along with San Bernardino Sheriff's deputies from several different patrol stations, served 23 search warrants at various locations in Lucerne Valley, Landers, Apple Valley, Victorville, Adelanto, Pinon Hills, Yucca Valley, and Hinkley in addition to Fontana during the week-long operation.

Investigators seized 20,031 marijuana plants, 3,596 pounds of processed marijuana, three guns, eight grams of concentrated marijuana, and 8.9 grams of methamphetamine.

There were 159 greenhouses eradicated at all of these locations.

Investigators mitigated one THC extraction lab and three electrical bypasses.

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.

The Sheriff's Gangs/Narcotics Division will continue to enforce California's cannabis laws and San Bernardino County's ordinance regarding cannabis cultivation and distribution. Persons 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 in violation of the state law and 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.

During the week of Oct. 4-10, investigators submitted a case to the San Bernardino County District Attorneys' Office for illegal marijuana cultivation in the Pinon Hills area. This cultivation site contained the chemical metamidofos, a highly toxic insecticide. Two suspects were arrested at this location, and the D.A.’s Office has filed six felony charges against the suspects. The Sheriff's Department is working collaboratively with the D.A.’s Office, County Code Enforcement, Department of Agriculture, and other county departments to combat this growing illegal trend.

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 leave the information at www.wetip.com.

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