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.