Over the last several weeks, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office Special Enforcement Unit has been working a large scale Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) situated in the mountain community of Cohasset.
As reported in an earlier press release on July 24th, 2015, arrested in the 16900 block of Musty Buck Road were Armando Gonzales (Age 52) of Mexico for the cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, armed in the commission of a felony, felon in possession of a firearm to include illegal assault weapons and a machine gun.
Arrested with Gonzales was Alberto Vasques Santiago (Age 31) of Mexico. Santiago was arrested for the cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale.
On August 12th, 2015, Detective’s with the Special Enforcement Unit searched a 160 acre parcel located off Ponderosa Way in Cohasset. Upon entry into the parcel they encountered a Hispanic male who fled from the location. A search of where the Hispanic male was last seen revealed three firearms, marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine. A search of the 160 acre parcel revealed 581 marijuana plants hidden within manzanita to avoid detection from aerial surveillance.
This investigation led the Special Enforcement Unit to a home in the 3000 block of Allison Meadow Road, Chico. A search of the home revealed a total of nineteen firearms, four of which were assault weapons, and several hundred rounds of ammunition. Evidence of marijuana cultivation and a direct connection to the Musty Buck Road property and Ponderosa Way property was located at the Allison Meadow Road search warrant scene.
Also located at the Allison Meadow Road property were components of a butane honey oil lab to include collection dishes, butane, scrappers, and finished product.
Arrested at the Allison Meadow Road property was Bernabe Lopez Senior (Age 52). Lopez was arrested for felon in possession of firearms (19 counts), possession of four assault weapons, possession of ammunition by a felon, and maintaining a residence used for drug sales.
On the same day as the Allison Meadow Road search warrant a search warrant was served at a storage unit in Chico. Located in the storage unit were more components of a butane honey oil lab to include used butane cans, a master case of butane containing 96 full cans of butane, a vacuum purge system, and a hot plate.
On August 17th, 2015 members of SEU searched a second parcel located off Ponderosa Way, Cohasset, which is tied to this investigation. A search of the 20 acre parcel revealed 49 marijuana plants hidden within the manzanita. No individuals or livable structures were located on this parcel. The investigation revealed the suspects tending to the marijuana plants on the 160 area Ponderosa Way were also tending to the 20 acre parcel.