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Marijuana Grows Near Murrieta Raided by Federal Agents

The alleged marijuana-growing facilities took up 18 suites in an industrial complex just outside Murrieta city limits.

Federal agents have seized more than 2,500 marijuana plants and arrested at least six people in connection with alleged marijuana grows in an industrial complex just outside Murrieta city limits.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Riverside office, served federal search warrants to raid 18 suites at 38372 Innovation Court, off Technology Drive in unincorporated Murrieta.

The latest raid took place Tuesday in six suites, 301 through 306, according to the warrant obtained by Patch.

DEA special agents and Riverside County sheriffs were on scene, hauling items out of the suites and loading them into a van and onto a large truck with dark siding. Broken glass littered the ground, and what appeared to be large heating lamps or fans were stacked up outside the suites.

Special Agent Sarah Pullen, DEA spokesperson for the Los Angeles Field Division, confirmed the raids on Tuesday, but did not have a final count of how many plants were seized in this latest one.

The day before, 687 marijuana plants were confiscated from six suites, 201 through 206, located just 20 feet away. Each suite in the complex has a roll-up door and a pedestrian door.

And on Jan. 18, there were 1,827 marijuana plants seized from a dispensary operating as Disabled American Veteran's Collective (DAVC), in suites 102 through 107 of the same complex. The grows were allegedly in addition to the dispensary.

Two people were arrested in that raid: Kevin Freeman, 38, of Temecula, the director of the collective, and Dennis Earl Zuniga, 32.

Freeman's residence in the 33200 block of Kabian Court in Temecula was also raided by federal agents in cooperation with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Agents in all cases had warrants to search for and confiscate controlled substances, electronic devices, records and cash of more than $2,000, according to documents provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Prior to the raids, DAVC was visited twice in December by an undercover Riverside County Sheriff's detective who had obtained a medical marijuana card and was able to purchase marijuana twice at the dispensary, according to the warrant.

The warrant did not tie the other two operations to DAVC, but did state that the security cameras and PVC pipe used in the DAVC facility were the same as those in the second row of suites searched.

Agents said they became alerted to the third row when they saw lights shining through the roll-up doors late at night as they searched the adjacent suites. They also stated they heard sounds made by fans used to cool plants under heat lamps.

A Riverside County Sheriff's K-9 unit also allegedly alerted them to the odor of marijuana.

Electricity use was also a factor used to determine the location of the grows. DEA agents requested and were granted access to electricity bills, showing bills of $1,100 to $1,200 for December.

Bills for the suites raided Tuesday were under the name of Jonathan Cringan, according to the warrant, who was among four arrested in alleged connection with Monday's raid at the complex.

veteranbadge January 25, 2012 at 06:01 PM
With that attitude, then I suppose one arrest for DUI should simply be ignored and further, not even attempted, right Brenda? I mean, its not like anyone got killed right? Is that how narrowly you view crime suppression? It's never just about tangible cash and contrband seized, but more often about the overall chilling effect it has on clientele and the crimes that they commit to buy the marijuana. Do you know how many convicted felons, wanted felons, registered sex offenders and active parolees have been arrested at these businesses alone? Probably not. But hey, next time your car gets broken into to theive anything that could be used to sell to purchase the drugs, don't call 911. Just tell yourself that it isn't worth it.
Denise January 25, 2012 at 06:39 PM
I'm on the same page with you Malcolm. It's unfortunate too. Murrieta couldn't get their way with the local judge (Great job of following the law) so they called in the FEDS. If you win by manipulation, is it really a win?
Brenda January 25, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Part 1 in response to Veteran: "With that attitude, then I suppose one arrest for DUI should simply be ignored and further, not even attempted, right Brenda? I mean, its not like anyone got killed right?" Answer--Of course a driver under suspicion for DUI should be pulled over, tested, arrested, charged, convicted if guilty. **Note to all those who like to see this disclaimer: Of course they are innocent until proven guilty. "Is that how narrowly you view crime suppression?" Answer--Veteran do go back and read my posts as you are assuming because of my stand on legal marijuana, that I am overall against law enforcement, laws, arrests and that is wrong. I am often strongly criticized by two particular people for having a vigilante type attitude(which I do if we had a perfect world, LOL, Elmer Fudd here to the rescue) and do not remember that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. However I can assure you that I totally believe in crime suppression, preferably before it gets out of hand, and even the units that have been created across the country to just address the most serious issues in their city as street level narcotics sales, prostitution, gang activity, graffiti, property crimes and veh. check points for any and all violations. WhereAS many say these are against their constitutional rights, I DEFINATELY disagree with them.
Brenda January 25, 2012 at 06:49 PM
It's never just about tangible cash and contrband seized, but more often about the overall chilling effect it has on clientele and the crimes that they commit to buy the marijuana. Do you know how many convicted felons, wanted felons, registered sex offenders and active parolees have been arrested at these businesses alone? Probably not. But hey, next time your car gets broken into to theive anything that could be used to sell to purchase the drugs, don't call 911. Just tell yourself that it isn't worth it." Answer- Veteran I have given break downs of all of these over the past year in posts, and all you are doing is grouping the medical marijuana usage with the norm of drugs, manufacturing, sales, and distribution. I, for this article am only responding to this particular seizure and case by the FBI, and medical marijuana, nothing more. CONT
Brenda January 25, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Part 3 to Veterans reply: I have also said many times that in this legalization of Medical Marijuana a law, a rule should be that at any time any card carrier should be automatically open to being stopped inside, outside, driving, card and car inspected and subjected to a field test. This will cut back on the ones who do NOT have cards, and also alert law enforcement that such and such location just sold to someone without a Legal User Card. It will alert law enforcement to those driving while under the influence. Also as each person is "ran" law enforcement will come up with the convicted felons, wanted, felons, registered sex offenders, active sex offenders, active parolees, basically anyone wanted for anything. Personally I believe that not only must the card holder have sufficient medical records, but a background check should be run on each person prior to getting the Medical Marijuana Card. But that is hopefully down the road. Veteran you and I have agreed wholeheartedly on many past issues and I hope we can continue to do that without this level of name calling, informing me not to call 911 when needed, and just apparently a complete and utter misunderstanding of my points of view on all crimes, criminals, our legal system, etc.
Tina January 25, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Why do you think Murrieta called in the FEDS for this raid? This wasn't even in the city limits, but outside the city limits which would not be under their jurisdiction. The FEDS are doing these types of raids all over the place.
Fauntleroy Murphy January 25, 2012 at 06:58 PM
The DEA was just doing it's job. Upholding our FEDERAL laws. Unfortunetly us Californian's voted in an illegal law. No state can inact a laws which overwrites federal laws. It's simple really, fight to have the FEDERAL law overturned and pot becomes legal. Better yet, turn pot into a cheaply produced pharmacutial. We already have manufacturing and distribution channels for drugs, both prescription and over the counter. Please stop belly aching about the raids and change the law! Then the DEA can move on to something we all want them to do.
Tina January 25, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Brenda: The $2,000 mentioned in the story is information from the search warrant that says anything over $2,000 in cash can be confiscated. The amount of money actually confiscated is not mentioned in the story.
Brenda January 25, 2012 at 07:13 PM
"And if you think that the cartels aren't involved in so called "legal" grow operations, then you're sadly mistaken." Of course they are, cause they are loosing money. If our governing "bodies" COME up with a across the board rules then not many "bad guys" will slide thru the cracks. As I have said before, we need more quidelines to issue a medical card, ie long term medical reports from patients doctors. Physical to verify. Background check to insure no current drug or other criminal activities. Also RULE that to be a card carrier you, car, home are subject to search at any time to keep a tight rein on who is selling it, and only patients are who are entitled have a legal medical card. Believe me, those people who truly need medical marijuana will not mind having to show their card to law enforcement, and most would help to prosecute a co-op who is buying, selling illegally. Just because someone uses Medical Marijuana does not mean they do not follow laws. We would be the 1st one to NOT want people taking advantage of the Medical Marijuana card and privilege. Or getting into the wrong hands. Its a given many will have a criminal background and of course people who do illegal things are going to try to work the system by any means to get a card, or start a co-op. So by all means, do NOT keep it easy as it is now to get a card. Ask me to bring my police record, 1 foot of medical records, and check me at the door as I leave. ;)
Brenda January 25, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Tina, Sorry, and I read it 3x's. Whew needed more coffee. But in a way if they did not proudly list any cash as they did the exact number of pot plants it does put a dent in suspicions surrounding illegal activities. If the sole purpose of this was to shut down the Murrieta Co-op, which was not doing anything wrong in Murrieta, and apparently not a huge amount of money that might show illegal, bigger activities, then calling in the FED's to do this was literally childish game of big cop, little cop, or some such thing. Just silliness and a huge waste of money. HUGE waste. For the FBI to destroy very expensive lights, fans, equipment was again, just silly and childish if this report is true about the busted glass. Also the medical marijuana destruction which is expensive and grown specially for different maladies patients suffer from. Ie, like inablity to eat or keep things down might be one strain of marijuana. In ability to sleep at all another strain. It appears the FBI and Murrieta Police wanted to do a pay back from the other day, bring in the FEDS to literally tear the place apart, trash the equipment and medicines. Just silly.
Amazing Lies January 25, 2012 at 07:45 PM
And just where are you supposed to source unique pvc pipe and security cameras? If guilt by association is now the norm - branches of Lowes or Home Depot, Best Buy or Radio Shack are probably just as culpable as the owners of the products. Watch out if your home improvement purchases have included security cameras or pvc pipe - you may be involved in this drug racket. Enough of being facetious. veteranbadge, you're comments are reading just like Joe Law - who seems to have gone missing recently. However, please enlighten me. What crimes are people committing if they obtain their prescribed medication from an establishment they believe to be a lawful dispensary or collective? Brenda, thanks for the mention by the way.... Are you suggesting that anyone with a criminal record not be allowed to receive or possess prescription medicines? Unfortunately that is what would result if your rules were put into effect. Those with medical marijuana cards have received prescriptions for those meds. If medical marijuana is to be legal, then it has to be classed the same as any other prescription drug, with the same kind of safeguards around it.
Secrets of Safety January 25, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Our society is going through transition on the subject of marijuana. We are going to have this kind of action continue to happen until things are all ironed out. There is no way to avoid it. Local law enforcement IS going to cooperate with the federal level. Our state would be in danger of federal action if local law enforcement didn't cooperate. That's just a fact of life.. Get over it. Endure and the courts will sort it all out... Having said that, we need to recognize that our country has been at "war" with "drugs" for a very long time. It only makes sense that easy targets are going to be attacked. And what is easier than going to a state that has legalized (to some degree) growing and selling one of the "drugs" that the federal government considers more dangerous than cocaine, morphine, heroin and meth. Yes, the federal government has marijuana listed as more dangerous than any of those. So, until the federal government removes their collective heads from between their cheeks, we are going to see the federal government use local law enforcement and work with local law enforcement to target these strategic areas of "crime" to bolster their "won battles". At least until a ruling comes down from the Supreme Court. *added note* Brenda, The "perfect world" you alluded to wouldn't know what a vigilante was, because there wouldn't be any crime. Then what would you do?
Freespirit January 25, 2012 at 08:13 PM
This was my Dads dispensary, he is a Veteran and has cancer. As soon as he began chemotherapy and radiation he went and got his card. This was the only thing that enabled him to keep anything down or sleep. I though to myself "thank God for this place". This was his only way of even being half comfortable. So this makes me so very sad!
Amazing Lies January 25, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Hey Freespirit, so sorry for your dad's troubles. There are other dispensaries still operating. I'd suggest you take a drive along the 74 between Hemet and the 215, or go to Grand Avenue in Lake Elsinore. Your dad may have to travel a little further, but help is out there.
Secrets of Safety January 25, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Amazing Lies, With regard to "veteranbadge", I suspect "Joe Law" was put on extended leave by him. The last comment by "Joe Law" was made on January 9 at 3:48 pm, on my board. Then at 3:53 the same day, "veteranbadge" made his very first post and that was on my wall as well... I think they are the same person, that's why I kept referring to "Joe Law" in my prior discussion with "veteranbadge". I think it may be a case of split personality now manifesting in overlapping episodes... lol
Amazing Lies January 25, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Hi Secrets, I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling a similarity in the comments posted by Joe Law and veteranbadge, although I must admit, veteranbadge had me fooled at first.
Andy January 25, 2012 at 09:53 PM
What a waste of resources. Go bust a meth lab or a heroin dealer. The amount of stolen vehicles in this area is ridiculous and I'm sure it's tied to REAL drug dealers. Go look at a crime map online and look at what's going on. Stop busting marijuana dispensaries, especially legitimate ones like DAVC.
James January 25, 2012 at 10:08 PM
This is really unfortunate to the patients and medical marijuana community in general. This was an impressive ran collective, where the owner was onsite everyday. Freeman helped a lot of people, so please don't be to quick to cast judgement. He was a Marine and really went above and beyond to aid not only the veteran members and their caregivers but all members of the collective. There were a lot of veteran oriented support groups, growing classes, and charity drives hosted by this clinic read his their mission statement @ VFNAM.org . Freeman had intended the orientation needed to open an Adult Day Care that specialize in the non medical care of veterans and their caregivers. The collective garden was even more impressive, built by licensed contractors to code equipped with fire sprinklers. A loss of to the community and tragedy to A Great Marine. hold your head up Devil Dog, I am sure when everything comes out, your name will be highly respected as it always have been. Semper Fi, my brother. God will see you through. James
James January 25, 2012 at 10:18 PM
There is a ADT sticker on the bottom of one of the photos, so that might be where they obtained the cameras. DAVC had a silent alarm connected directly to the Riverside County Sheriffs Department. There was incident awhile back where the alarm was accidentally pulled and sheriffs were dispatched to that location.
Quincy January 26, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Corporate cartels and their lobbyists in Washington are behind the Fed raids. Big pharma is threatened by medical marijuana because they can't patent it, then jack up the price and monopolize the distribution like their other drugs. Alcohol and tobacco manufacturers lobby against the legalization of pot for the same reason that Vegas Casinos lobby against Indian Gaming - competition. Until the bribery and campaign contributions reach the levels of these industries, politicians will not move to legalize it nationally.
JJ Mclure January 26, 2012 at 02:33 PM
DEA rocks
JJ Mclure January 26, 2012 at 02:34 PM
I think Juan Valdez was there
The Logical Veteran Badge January 26, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Just an observation to those that think they read this post clearly because many are blaming Murrieta P.D., but it says nothing about Murrieta P.D. being involved, it was the DEA and Riverside Sheriff's since it was outside the city limits. While Murrieta P.D. has been actively fighting these places, they had nothing to do with this one. Just saying since everyone on hear preaches innocent until proven guilty but a few of you are just as guilty for assuming things. Anyways on this issue, waste of resources and time. Cities need to regulate how many of these places can open and then get the tax revenue from them, similar to what they do with strip clubs, regulate them to industrial areas away from the youth and limit the number that can open to 4 or 5. Simple yet they are fighting tooth and nail over something that the law makers have declared an infraction now.
Secrets of Safety January 26, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Now you are "The Logical Veteran Badge".. I guess that's better.. Did you think that up just this morning? I see you just posted your first post under this name.. Wow.. Joe.. another personality..
Secrets of Safety January 26, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Anyway.. You say it was the Sheriff, which is what the article said, but then you allude to the "cities" needing to "regulate how many of these places can open and then get the tax revenue from them, similar to what they do with strip clubs, regulate them to industrial areas away from the youth and limit the number that can open to 4 or 5." How many of these places are in this "industrial area"? And who is it that have declared it an infraction? I believe the state declared these places legal. The county has declared them "illegal". And the California Supreme Court has declared that they are going to review how the cities and counties should be regulating these places.. So, since there is a conflict (of sorts), it seems to me that it is "law enforcement" who is actually declaring the "infraction" to force the courts to make the determination. That seems "Logical" to me.. I believe what others might be trying to say is, since our federal and state and local governments are all operating in the RED, it is a waste of money the government at any level doesn't have, just to prove a point. Unlike what law enforcement thinks, citizens aren't totally stupid. We can see what is going on. As far as those of us "assuming things" being just as guilty.. Really!!! I realize that is the way law enforcements sees everyone, but you can't post as "The Logical Veteran Badge" with such illogical reasoning.. Well... I guess you can... you did... ; )
Andy January 26, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Hahahaha. Whoever this "joe law" and "veteran badge" guy is, he's making a bunch of accounts. Secrets of safety is dead on. These places are LEGAL. Stop wasting our tax dollars. Raiding these places is some kind of sick joke when we have murderous drug cartels who are jumping our border and are killing more people every day than in Afghanistan.
SPB January 27, 2012 at 09:47 PM
@ Brenda. Thats a horrible idea. Medical patients shouldn't be forced to cede their 4th amendment rights simply because they are sick. As it stands medical patients are not allowed to legally obtain firearms. How about we legalize the whole enterprise and stop wasting our limited resources on fighting an pointless battle.
SPB January 27, 2012 at 09:56 PM
a synthetic TCH pill already exists. Its called Marinol, which works like an edible except its about 4 times as expensive. A typical medical patient can smoke for a week on the cost of one medical pill. I see the entire notion as science knows best as flawed. Look what its done to our food? We all eat fake food and now everyone is fat and sick. Pills are no different. We didn't evolve as a species taking xanax and marinol while eating high fructose corn syrup and monosodium glutimate. Our society is way too preoccupied with better living through chemistry. God got it right the first time, I'll take nature thank you very much.
SPB January 27, 2012 at 09:58 PM
there are still dispensaries out there, you'll just have to drive (and probably buy in bulk)
Speaks2all February 24, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I like an idiot handed Kevin Freeman ten thousand dollars as an investment and yeah he burnt me. He is not an honorable man

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