06/23/06 5:45 PDT
SANTA ROSA (BCN)
Narcotics agents from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the California National Guard have arrested three people in connection with an indoor marijuana growing operation in Healdsburg.
Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Bertoli said agents searched the property on Chiquita Road today and discovered a sophisticated four-room growing operation in a barn on the property. Agents eradicated 630 plants.
Bertoli said to eliminate detection, the residents manufactured a bypass at the PG&E meter that enabled them to steal electric power for the grow operation.
One room of the barn was used for cloning plants, another room was used to further their growth and the plants were then placed in two rooms until they matured, Bertoli said.
The street value of the plants at full maturity is estimated at $630,000 and the street value of the three pounds of manicured marijuana found at the site is $12,000, Bertoli said.
The National Guard's Team Wolf agents found $5,000 in currency wrapped in a vacuum seal bag under dirt and leaves beneath a cinder block, Bertoli said. The soldiers then located $140,000 buried in Ziploc and vacuum seal bags about one foot in the soil under a planter box, Bertoli said.
Agents arrested Richard Nall, 58, and Roxie Nall, 51, of Healdsburg for suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and theft of utilities.
Seth W. Russell, 24, of San Francisco, was arrested for suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to sell. All three suspects were booked into the Sonoma County jail under $500,000 bail.