A previously registered commercial cannabis cultivation grow in Railroad Flat was raided by the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday after failing to come into compliance with the ban, which went into effect on June 7.

“There's a large number that have self-eradicated but if any out there are out of compliance with the ban, the Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement Team will investigate and enforce any violation of laws,” Sgt. Rachelle Whiting said.

On Wednesday, a search warrant was served on the 2000 block of Mason Road in Railroad Flat on a known marijuana grow that had received proper registration during the urgency ordinance, Whiting said.

Aerial reconnaissance had determined that the location had not come into compliance by June 7. In January, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors adopted the ban in a 3-2 vote. The ban took effect March 9 and the 90-day grace period for registered growers to come into compliance was June 7.

At the grow site 1,309 marijuana plants and 171.56 pounds of processed marijuana were seized.

Potential environmental violations and code compliance problems were located, Whiting said, but she did not have specific information on the violations.
Three people were at the site, including a father and his son.

Steven Koba, 24, of Railroad Flat, Timothy Koba, 58, of Railroad Flat, and Markus Schoellen, 19, of Railroad Flat, were cited on charges of illegal cannabis cultivation.

Steven Koba also received citations for possession of cannabis for sale and operating a place for the purpose of unlawfully selling or giving away illegal controlled substances.

“Steven Koba’s citation was a felony, the other two were misdemeanors,” Whiting said.

The men were cited in the field and not booked into the Calaveras County Jail, she added.

The felony citation “depends of the totality of the circumstances and nature of the crime,” she said.

“I wouldn't call it a family operation. It is a commercial-sized illegal marijuana cultivation operation,” Whiting said.

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