MODESTO, CA- Agents from the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency discovered a large outdoor marijuana grow at a rural fourteen acre parcel near the Stanislaus River east of the town of Newman. Investigators seized approximately one thousand plants, which has an estimated street value of 3 million dollars.
On Wednesday, August 22nd, at about 7:00 A.M., narcotics investigators from the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department served a search warrant at a rural fourteen acre parcel near River Road and Hills Ferry Rd along the Stanislaus River east of the town of Newman. The search warrant was the result of an ongoing criminal investigation that started in part from a tip.
The drug task force had initially received an anonymous tip of a possible marijuana grow at this property. Agents conducted follow-up investigation and confirmed a large illegal marijuana grow on the property. The investigators obtained a search warrant and served the warrant this morning at the property. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s office SWAT team assisted in the service of the warrant.
Narcotic agents discovered a large sophisticated grow with approximately one thousand marijuana plants, on the property. The plants were in various stages of growth and many were ready to be harvested. Agents estimate the street value of the marijuana to be about 3 million dollars.
The plants were spread throughout the fourteen acre property and were hidden in part by the dense vegetation as well as the terrain by the rivers edge. Several people were located on the property and determined to be tending the illegal marijuana grow.
The following people were arrested:
– 43 year-old Phanetavanh SOUTHAMMAVONG, from Modesto
– 56-year-old Symery SAYKGANYA from Modesto
-50-year-old Annie VONG SENEKEO from Fresno
-56-year-old Vong THOUNETHEPMITH from Fresno
-33 -year-old Sengphachanh BOUNGNAVONG from Fresno
-50-year-old Sam KOUNHAVONG from Fresno
All of the above listed suspects were booked into the Stanislaus County Jail and face charges of marijuana cultivation.
The Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency is a multi-agency narcotic task force, which is comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The goal of the task force is to identify, disrupt, and ultimately dismantle drug trafficking organizations operating within the Central Valley.
Sergeant Grogan a supervisor assigned to the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency states they are conducting these operations involving individuals that are hiding under the umbrella of Proposition 215. Proposition 215 allows for the growing of Marijuana for medicinal purposes. Investigators are finding that the abuse in Proposition 215 occurs when individuals are growing Marijuana for profit.