press release felony charges filed in large scale marijuana bust

Today, the Office of the District Attorney filed multiple felony charges against thirty-one
individuals in connection with a large nursery style marijuana grow in south west Tulare
County. These individuals were charged with possession of marijuana for sale,
cultivating marijuana, and maintaining a place for controlled substance sales. A special
allegation that a principle possessed a firearm during the commission of a drug offense
was also filed, as well as an allegation that one of the defendants had previously been
convicted of marijuana sales.
On April 22, 2015, the Tulare County Sherriff’s Department executed a search warrant at
a 60 acre parcel located on Road 112, south of Avenue 24 in the Earlimart area.
Detectives began investigating the site on January 27, 2015, when aerial observations
revealed several large greenhouses suspected to be involved in the illegal cultivation of
The search revealed a sophisticated marijuana growing operation. A total of 11,206 live
viable plants were located in 49 greenhouses that had been constructed on the premises.
An additional 1,102 immature marijuana plants were located inside the residences on the
property. Along with the live plants, Detectives located a total of 2,260 pounds of
harvested marijuana that was in the process of being trimmed and dried. The Sherriff’s
Department estimated the street value of the marijuana being cultivated and processed
at $27,400,000.
The marijuana plants were being watered from an underground well located on the
property. It is estimated that a mature marijuana plant consumes 6 gallons of water per
day, putting the total water consumption of the grow site at 67,236 gallons of water each
day. As Tulare County farmers deal with limited water availability, the defendants in this
case were busy depleting local aquifer reserves.
The defendants will be arraigned on the charges this afternoon at the Tulare County
Pretrial Facility.
Media inquiries can be directed to the Office of the District Attorney, County of Tulare
Assistant District Attorney Anthony Fultz (559) 636-5494