On December 3, 2019, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff’s Enforcement Team (SET) led by Sergeant Ray Framstad, conducted an investigation into the illegal cultivation, manufacturing, and processing of marijuana.
During the SET Team’s investigation in the 4000 Block of Jerry Collins Road, they located a large warehouse that had eight air-conditioning units set up for regulating the temperature inside the building. There was a large generator running the shop and air-conditioning units along with a large diesel fuel tank.
The SET Team eradicated 1510 marijuana plants and found a large area on the property where hazardous materials (used oil filters, diesel fuel, used oil, and other unknown chemicals) were being dumped on the ground.
Merced County Code Enforcement and Environmental Health were requested to deal with the appropriate clean-up of hazardous materials and soil contamination.
The property owner has been held responsible for environmental damages and clean up. Additionally, the tenant was issued a citation for the illegal marijuana grow and the large-scale commercial marijuana operation was shut down and the investigation is still ongoing.
Sheriff Warnke would like to remind everyone that it is illegal to grow marijuana outdoors in Merced County. You may legally possess six marijuana plants per residence and may only grow indoors.