The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office busted two indoor marijuana grow operations and arrested one man believed to be associated with an international criminal organization on Monday, about two weeks after a federal asset forfeiture claim was made on more than a hundred residences converted to indoor marijuana grows in and surrounding the Sacramento area.

Two locations, one in Burson and one in Valley Springs, were identified by the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement team as associated with the criminal organization that was busted between November 2017 and February 2018 for propping up 12 other indoor growing operations in the county, mostly in Valley Springs.

The international criminal organization, which is believed to be funded from the Fujian province of China, is suspected of setting up over 100 houses in Sacramento, Calaveras, Placer, San Joaquin, El Dorado, Yuba and Amador counties.

During raids on April 3 and 4, more than 500 federal agents busted more than 70 locations in Sacramento. In total, the agents seized 61,050 marijuana plants, about 440 pounds of processed marijuana and 15 firearms.

A large two-story residence on Hillcale Lane in Burson was found to be converted to an indoor marijuana grow, a Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office press release stated. The grow operation included the upstairs, downstairs, an attached three-car garage, a guest house, and another garage on the property.

In all, 919 marijuana plants were located and eradicated, but no people were found.

On the 2000 block of Huckleberry Lane in Valley Springs, the entire house and garage had been converted for cultivation. Some 228 marijuana plants, many of which were covered in spider mites and webbing, were destroyed. Pesticides and other chemicals were also located in the house.

Yuanqiang Feng, 42, of Sacramento, was at the Valley Springs house and was booked on suspicion of keeping a place to sell a controlled substance and misdemeanor charges cultivating marijuana.

In the 12 busts between November 2017 and February 2018, 9,741 marijuana plants, 148 pounds of processed marijuana and about $11,000 cash were seized. Five arrests were made during the raids.

In that time, the busts associated with the international criminal organization occurred on the 8900 block of Highway 49 in Mokelumne Hill on Nov. 13, 2017; the 3700 block of Dunn Road in Valley Springs on Nov. 16; the 3600 block of Delin Way in Valley Springs on Dec. 6; 11600 block of Milton Road in Valley Springs on Dec. 6; the 6300 block of Hironymous Way in Valley Springs on Dec. 12; the 8900 block and 8700 block of Greer Way in Valley Springs on Dec. 29; 8400 block of Baldwin Street in Valley Springs on Jan. 10; the 6100 block of Highway 26 in Valley Springs on January 11; the 6000 block of Amos Lane in Valley Springs on Jan. 31; and two locations on the 2800 block of Hoffman Drive in Valley Springs on Feb. 8.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com . Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.









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