245 pc (Assault with a Deadly Weapon)
LOCATION:  Visalia area          DATE:  8/17/12          TIME:  0010 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-10703         VICTIM:           CITY: 

Victim-1 Romero, Jose
Victim-2  Navarro, Jose
 
 
 On the above date and a Deputy from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office was transporting inmates from the Tulare County Main Jail to the Bob Wiley Detention Facility. During the transport an inmate defeated his restraints and attacked two other inmates causing minor injury. Both victims were transported to Kaweah Delta District Hospital where they were treated and released for minor injury. This case will be submitted to the District Attorneys Office for review and filing of charges. The case is currently under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
One in custody for sexual assault of a minor
LOCATION:  Richgrove area          DATE:  08-16-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-5784         VICTIM:  Confidential          CITY: 

Suspect- Enrique Garcia Alaniz age 61 of Richgrove 

On 5/8/2012 the Tulare County Sheriff's Department Crimes against Children Unit was contacted by staff of the Richgrove Elementary School District. Detectives were advised that a confidential juvenile female reported that Enrique Garcia had been sexually assaulting her over the course of two months. During the investigation it was also learned two other juvenile females were sexually assaulted by the suspect. The assaults took place at the suspect’s residence in Richgrove. He was taken in custody on an arrest warrant for the above listed charges.

He is being held at the Tulare County Main Jail in lieu of $ 500,000.00 bail.

Anybody with additional information is encouraged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Crimes Against Children’s Unit Sgt. Harold Liles or Detective Florence Cotton
559-735-1877.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
PC 488, 496, 182, 594, H&S 11550
LOCATION:  Road 36 and Avenue 400/ Road 56 and Avenue 408          DATE:  August 15          TIME:  1200 hours
CASE NUMBER:  12-10636/12-         VICTIM:  Tony Duerksen and Karl Warkentin          CITY:  Kingsburg

Wednesday, August 15, 2012/ 1200 hours deputies responded to the area of the Kings Inn (Kingsburg) regarding suspects who removed a cash box from a mobile fruit stand in the area of Avenue 400 and Road 36 Kingsburg.  The victim had witness the suspects forcibly remove the metal cash box from his mobile fruit stand and drive away from the scene and arrived at the Kings Inn Motel. 

The victim followed the suspects’ and provided information to the Sheriff’s Department.  Upon arrival, Deputies located and arrested three suspects involved in the theft and recovered the cash box, burglary tools, and drug paraphernalia.  During the course of the investigations an unreported victim of a cash box theft had arrived and identified the second cash box as belonging to him, which was stolen earlier in the area of Road 56 and Avenue 408.

 The case is currently under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

Taken into custody were:   

1.    Steven Silva 23 years
2.    Christine Gomez 27 years
3.    Jose Castro 38 years

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
243(d) PC Felony Battery
LOCATION:  4000 blk of A400-Dinuba          DATE:  08-14-12          TIME:  2300
CASE NUMBER:  12-10611         VICTIM:  Lopez, Jose          CITY: 


 Deputies from the Tulare County Sheriff’s office responded to the 4000 block of Ave 400 in Kingsburg regarding a report of an assault. Upon arrival Deputies contacted the suspect who stated he had just physically assaulted his Father after an argument. The suspect was subsequently arrested and booked into the Tulare County Main Jail without incident. The victim was transported to Kaweah Delta District Hospital where he was treated for injuries sustained during the assault. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Gary Marks at (559)735-1856
 

Taken into custody was

1)    Saldana, Jose                       26Yrs.                      Kingsburg  Resident
      

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Arrests made on narcotics case
LOCATION:  100 Blk of S. Beverly, Porterville Area          DATE:  08-14-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-70132         VICTIM:  Sate of CA          CITY:  Porterville

Suspect#1 Kristen Lee Davis, Age: 44 Porterville, Ca.
Charges: 11377(a)/ H&S

Suspect#2  Arthur Comeau, Age: 49 Porterville, Ca.
Charges: 11358 H&S

Suspect #3  Kimberly Clark,   Age: 47 Porterville, Ca.
Charges:  11364/ 11358/ 11350 H&S

After an approximate one (1) week investigation into illegal narcotics trafficking in the Porterville area investigators from the Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division received several complaints about vehicle and foot traffic which led to a residence in the 100 Blk of  S. Beverly. A traffic stop was conducted on a vehicle leaving the residence and Suspect Kristen Davis was contacted and found to be in possession of Methamphetamine.  The ensuing investigation led back to the residence and a search revealed approximately 205 grams of Marijuana packaged for sales, 26 Oxycontin, 14 Vicodin pills without a prescription and indicia related to the use of illegal narcotics.

All suspects were booked at their respective Tulare County Jail facilities on the above listed charges.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Division (559) 713-2950.

Photos available through the Main Jail.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
245 PC-Assault with a deadly weapon
LOCATION:  1898 W Sierra          DATE:  8-12-12          TIME:  0300 Hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-10453         VICTIM:  See Below          CITY:  Earlimart

V-1, Jose Luis Navarez 5-19-87

S-1 Confidential juvenile male from the Delano area.   

On the above date and time deputies from the Pixley Substation were dispatched to 1898 W. Sierra in Earlimart for a report of a male who had been stabbed during a physical altercation. 

Detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit and South End Investiations were called. During the investigation it was discovered the victim and male suspect had been in a physical altercation and the suspect stabbed the victim several times during the fight. The victim received several puncture wounds to his upper body during the altercation.  The suspect fled in an unknown type vehicle after the stabbing.      

 The case remains under investigation. 

Any information should call Detective Richard Ramirez at (559) 733-6218 or send anonymous information by sending a text message or email to TCSO@tipnow.com or call 1-800-TIPNOW.   

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Gang Violence Suppression Detail
LOCATION:  Rural communities of the county          DATE:  See Below          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:           VICTIM:  State of California          CITY: 

During the weekend of 8/10/12 through 8/11/12, personnel from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Gang Violence Suppression Unit, South County Community Based Officers, representatives of State Parole and Probation, made suppression efforts throughout the rural communities of the county, as a means to curb violence and other related nuisances.

Overall, there were 5 arrests for active warrants and fresh charges.  Those arrested were;

1.Joe Giron  (Adult)  felony arrest warrant

2.Carlos Chavez (Adult) Felony arrest warrant / Wanted by State Parole. 

3.Andrew Quinteros (Adult) Felony warrant and possession of controlled substance.

4.Irinfo Nebre (Adult) Misdemeanor warrant and under the influence of a controlled substance.

5.Angela Gutierrez (Adult) delaying officers in the performance of their duties.  

Anyone with information regarding any type of gang activity in Tulare County is urged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department’s Gang Violence Suppression Unit at the toll free number of: 1-(888)-363-4264 or 1-(888)-END-GANG.  Persons who provide information can remain anonymous. 

Prepared by: Sgt. R.W. Parker   P-3369

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
11377 HS-Possession of a Controlled Substance
LOCATION:  Road 72/Harvest          DATE:  8-10-12          TIME:  2243 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-10390         VICTIM:  State of California          CITY:  Goshen

On above date and time at above location Deputies conducted a traffic stop for California Vehicle Code Violations.  Subsequent to investigation the driver, who was identified as Volent Chim 20, from the Goshen area was found to be driving on a suspended driver’s license.  His passenger, who was identified as Florentino Acosta was found to be in possession of approximately 3.2 grams of a white crystalline substance believed to be methamphetamine.  Chim was cited and the vehicle was towed.  Acosta was later transported and booked at the Tulare County Main Jail for possession of a controlled substance.   

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Press Conference with family of homicide victim
LOCATION:  5959 S. Mooney Blvd. Lobby          DATE:  08-07-12          TIME:  1330
CASE NUMBER:  12-09724         VICTIM:  Lopez, Martin age 16          CITY:  Cutler

A press conference is being held in the lobby of the Government Plaza Building, 5959 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia at 1:30 PM.

Family of homicide victim, Martin Lopez, will be available for comment and questions. The Sheriff's Office and the family are seeking assistance from the community regarding this case.  Media is encouraged to attend the press conference to assist in getting the information out to the community.  

Please notify Sgt. Chris Douglass by email if you plan to attend.  Cdouglass@co.tulare.ca.us

 
...posted by Media relations
*****
Search and Rescue-Drowning
LOCATION:  Kern River-Carson Falls          DATE:  8-5-12          TIME:  1430 Hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-10103         VICTIM:  Westervoorde, Kevin 04/02/1987          CITY:  Monrovia

SEARCH AND RESCUE - Kern River - Carson Falls

 

Deputies from the Tulare County Sheriff Department's Search and Rescue Team and USFS Fire personnel from the Sequoia National Monument recovered the body of a 26 year old man from the Kern River after a canyoneering accident. The victim, Kevin Westervoorde of Monrovia was canyoneering with friends in a dangerous and technically challenging area of the Kern River above Johnsondale Sunday afternoon. Westervoorde was floating down the river above Carson Falls. Westervoorde failed to exit the river before the falls and was swept over and into treacherous class V+ rapids.  Friends of Westervoorde watched him go over the falls but were unable to assist him due to the force and dangerous flow of the river. The Kern River's flow is currently approximately two-hundred and twenty cubic feet per second. At this flow, the river's current is equivalent to approximately 14,000 pounds of force moving downstream every second. 

 

V1: Westervoorde, Kevin 04/02/1987 - NOTIFICATION WAS MADE BY MONROVIA PD

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Numerous charges**See below**
LOCATION:  Ave 160/Road 192          DATE:  8-5-12          TIME:  1937 Hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-10119         VICTIM:  State of California          CITY:  Woodville

Charges: 25400(a)(1)PC: Possession of a concealed firearm, 24500(c)(3)PC: Possession of a firearm by gang member, 496PC possession of stolen property, 14601.1VC: Driving under a suspended license. 

 

Tulare County Sheriff Deputies responded to the community of Woodville regarding a report of a firearm that had been brandished at several citizens. Two Hispanic suspects were reported to be driving an orange Chevrolet pick up truck. The suspects were reported to be driving through the community, yelling gang obscenities, challenging people to fight, and repeatedly pointing a firearm at pedestrians and vehicles. Deputies observed the vehicle in the area of Road 192 and Avenue 160, near the Woodville Labor Camp. A felony traffic stop was initiated by Deputies and the two suspects, Riacrdo Nunez-Calderon, 19 of Strathmore and an unnamed juvenile, 17 of Porterville were detained without incident. Both suspects are known southern gang members. During a search of the vehicle, Deputies located a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun which had been stolen from a home in Visalia in April of this year. Nunez-Calderon was booked into the Tulare County Main Jail under numerous charges. The juvenile was transported to the Tulare County Juvenile Detention Facility for additional charges. This case is actively being investigated by the Tulare County Sheriff's Department.  

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
PC 21310-Concealed Weapon
LOCATION:  Road 126/Ave 419          DATE:  08-05-12          TIME:  1906 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-10116         VICTIM:  State of California          CITY:  Orosi

On 08-05-12 at approximately 1906 hours deputies from the Orosi Substation responded to the area of Rd. 126 and Ave 419 regarding a report of a man with a knife. Once on scene deputies made contact with a David Dicochea age 19, who was found in possession of a concealed 12 and a half inch kitchen knife.  Suspect was taken into custody and booked into the Tulare County Main Jail for PC 21310.

 

The case is currently under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Taken into custody were: 

David Dicochea

 

 

Charges:   PC 21310 

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Rape, false imprisonment, oral copulation, penetration by foreign object, kidnapping
LOCATION:  Rural Exeter          DATE:  08-04-2012          TIME:  2200-2308
CASE NUMBER:  12-10077         VICTIM:  Adult female (22 years) Confidential per 293 PC.          CITY: 

On 8-04-12 at about 10:00 pm, the suspect and victim were attending a celebration with other people in the 500 block of Glenn St. Exeter, Ca.  At that time, the suspect asked the victim for a ride to the store and diverted the victim to a rural county location through false direction.  Through force and intimidation the suspect assaulted the victim sexually against her will causing injury.

Detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department assumed the investigation, and on
8-05-12 at about 2:30 pm, the suspect was taken into custody without incident.  The suspect was later booked into the Juvenile Justice Center.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 559-733-6218 or you can remain anonymous by sending your information to tcso@tipnow.com or by texting to (559) 725-4194.

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
459 PC, 496 PC- Burglary and Possession of Stolen Property
LOCATION:  31000 block of Road 226          DATE:  8-4-12          TIME:  0700 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-10031         VICTIM:  Undisclosed male adult 57 yrs old          CITY:  Exeter

On 8-04-12 at about 7:00 am, deputies from patrol were sent to investigate a reported burglary that occurred in the 31000 block of Rd. 226 Exeter, Ca.  During the investigation it was determined that more than $2,000.00 in property had been stolen   

Detectives were later called out to assume the case and while working with patrol most of the stolen property was recovered and returned back to the victim.  A suspect, later identified as Hadden Kennedy (19 years) from the Exeter area was arrested nearby for the possession and sale of the stolen property to a concerned citizen.  He was later booked into the Tulare County Main Jail with bail set at $50,000.00.  

 The investigation is on-going for other possible suspects in the case.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 559-733-6218 or you can remain anonymous by sending your information to tcso@tipnow.com or by texting to (559) 725-4194.

 

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
245 PC-Assault with a deadly weapon
LOCATION:  1900 block of Roby          DATE:  08-04-12          TIME:  0045 Hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-10026         VICTIM:  Not disclosed          CITY:  Porterville

On 08/04/12 at approximately 0045Hours, Deputies from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to a large party in the 1900 block of Roby in Porterville regarding a 21 year old male with multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body.   Upon arrival deputies learned that the victim was involved in a physical altercation with multiple subjects while at the party when he was shot. 

The victim was air lifted to a local hospital for treatment. Anyone with information is asked to call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Gang Violence Suppression Unit or send anonymous information by sending a text message or email to TCSO@tipnow.comor call 1800-TIPNOW 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Possession and Possession for sales and Transportation of Methamphetamine
LOCATION:  Woodlake,CA          DATE:  08032012          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-70120         VICTIM:           CITY: 

 

 

Suspect:

 

# 1 Jose Trelles

 

 

Age:

 

42 yrs

 

 

 

 

 

 

After an approximate Three (3) week investigation into illegal narcotics trafficking in the Woodlake area investigators from the Sheriff

 

s Departments Narcotics Division were led to a residence in the 300 Blk of N. Walnut where a search warrant was served. The ensuing investigation and search revealed approximately 2.9 ounces of Methamphetamine, scales, packaging materials and indicia related to the sales of illegal narcotics was located, as well as maintaining a residence for illicit narcotic sales.

Jose Trelles was booked at the Tulare County Main Jail on the above listed charges.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff

 

s Department Narcotics Division (559) 713-2950.

Photos available through the Main Jail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Arrest made on burglary
LOCATION:  31800 block of Road 124, Visalia          DATE:  08-2-12          TIME:  1500 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-9948         VICTIM:  Confidential          CITY:  Visalia Area

Suspect In Custody:
Miguel Lua, age 28 from the Visalia area

On the above date and time Deputies from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the 31800 block of Rd. 124, Visalia regarding a vehicle burglary in progress.  Upon arrival Deputies contacted the reporting party who stated the suspect was seen breaking into a vehicle and took a car stereo.  A description of suspect was provided and he was contacted approximately ½ mile from the scene.  The the victim's property was recovered.  The estimated loss and recovered items totaled approximately $400.00.  The suspect was arrested at the scene and booked at the Tulare County Main Jail on the above listed charges.   

Case currently under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Arrest made on kidnapping & robbery
LOCATION:  Road 84 north of Ave 32, Allensworth          DATE:  08-01-2012          TIME:  2315 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-9924         VICTIM:  Confidential          CITY:  Delano

S-1 Orlando Gonzalez , 29 years old, Alpaugh  Ca

On the above date and time deputies from the Pixley Substation were dispatched to Rd 84 north of Ave 32 in Allensworth for a report of a female who had been physically forced into a vehicle and taken away by the suspect.

Detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit and South End Investigations were called. During the investigation it was discovered the female victim and a friend arrived at a relative’s residence in Allensworth, when the suspect also arrived. The suspect knew the victim and forcibly removed her from the vehicle she was in. The victim was yelling and attempting to flee from the male subject as he threw her into the vehicle and sped away.

A search was underway when at approximately 0830 hours (8-2-12), the victim called from her residence where she had been dropped off by the suspect. She received minor bruises from the incident. The suspect reportedly forcibly took her purse, took her access card, and removed several hundred dollars in cash from an ATM machine.

At 0922 hours the suspect was located returning to his residence and taken into custody without incident. The cash was recovered and the suspect was booked at the Porterville Substation on charges of kidnapping and robbery. 

The case remains under investigation.

Anyone with information should call Detective Richard Ramirez at (559) 733-6218 or send anonymous information by sending a text message or email to TCSO@tipnow.com or call 1-800-TIPNOW.  

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Overdue Hikers Located
LOCATION:  Pnderosa / Parker Pass          DATE:  07-17-2012          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-9764         VICTIM:  Linda and David Donohoe          CITY:  Terra Bella

The overdue hikers LInda and David Donohoe have been located.  Sheriff's Office personnel had seen the couple driving their green Jeep in the California Hot Springs Area.  Staff made contact with them at approximately 1335 hours on 08-01-2012.  The couple then made contact with our detectives and verified they were ok and were not aware they had been listed as overdue.

The Sheriff's Office would to thank the communty for their assistance in this case.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Update to Manslaughter case - Johnsondale
LOCATION:  100 block of Moutain 99, Johnsondale          DATE:  07-31-12          TIME:  2230
CASE NUMBER:  12-9876         VICTIM:  Slenka, Peter age 52          CITY:  Apple Valley, CA

UPDATE 08-02-12:
On 08/02/2012 an autopsy was conducted. The cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound to the upper body.

Anyone information should call Detective Richard Ramirez at (559) 733-6211 or send anonymous information by sending a text message or email to TCSO@tipnow.com or call 1-800-TIPNOW.

PRIOR RELEASE:
On the above date and time Deputies responded to a call of a gunshot victim in the 100 block of Mountain 99, Johnsondale. Deputies arrived on scene and found the victim deceased with an apparent gunshot wound to the upper body. The suspect, Ralph Zinck was still on scene and had attempted to give first aid to the victim.

During the investigation it was discovered that the victim and suspect were friends and in-laws and were drinking together at the victim’s residence throughout the evening. The victim was also showing the suspect a new handgun he had recently purchased. As they were handling the gun, Zinck shot Slenka, not knowing the gun was loaded. Zinck was arrested for manslaughter and was booked at the Porterville Substation.

Anyone information should call Detective Richard Ramirez at (559) 733-6211 or send anonymous information by sending a text message or email to TCSO@tipnow.com or call 1-800-TIPNOW.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
245PC/ Assualt with a Deadly Weapon
LOCATION:  30000 block of Juniper in Goshen          DATE:  08-01-12          TIME:  2024
CASE NUMBER:  12-9920         VICTIM:  45 yoa male          CITY: 

On 08/01/2012 deputies from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to the 30000 block of Juniper in Goshen.  Regarding a 45 year old male who had been intentionally struck by a vehicle.   The victim sustained non life threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
During the investigation information was developed which led to the arrest of  Martin Parraz  of  Goshen for 245 PC assault with a deadly weapon.   Parraz was subsequently booked into the Tulare County jail on the above charge.

    
Any one with information is asked to call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office  (559) 733-6218.

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Marijuana Eradication Details 7-22-12 through 7-31-12
LOCATION:  Various sites in Tulare County          DATE:  07-22-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  Various         VICTIM:  Stae of CA          CITY:  Various

Over the past 5 days Detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department S.T.E.P. Unit completed several months of investigations by conducting marijuana Raid/Eradication operations on Public and Private lands throughout the foothill and valley areas of Tulare County. Several of these operations were conducted with the assistance of Federal Officers from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s C.E.R.T. program (Cannabis Eradication & Reclamation Teams).  The C.E.R.T. program has replaced the state run C.A.M.P. program.

 

7/20/12 - Eshom Area
STEP detectives and the C.E.R.T. team conducted eradication operations in the area of the Eshom Towers on U.S. Forest service lands. Officers entered into the garden site and seized1, 443 marijuana plants. The marijuana plants were mature and appeared to have been harvested several times. A large camp and trash pile was located. It appeared the suspect had fled the garden site just before officers were flown into the location. Detectives and Federal officers removed trash, water hose, pesticides and fertilizers from the location and restored as much as possible, natural streams and creeks which had been diverted by growers (a process known as reclamation.) Additional work will be done on this areas to restore it to a natural state after the marijuana season, to lessen the danger to workers on those projects.

 

7/20/12 – Three Rivers area.
STEP detectives and the C.E.R.T. team conducted eradication operations in the area of the Three River Flume. This site had just been reported to the Sheriff’s department by area residents who routinely hike in the area. Due to the danger of conflict between the armed growers and local residents it was determined to eradicate this site as soon as possible rather than set-up for a long term investigation. On Friday afternoon officers were flown into the large garden using a technique known as Short-Haul. Upon arrival detectives found a large spread-out grow site of over 20,000 marijuana plants which was within sight of several houses. Investigation found that the suspects had fled into the heavy brush as the helicopter came into the area. A handgun and several types of ammunition, including assault weapon calibers were seized from several camp/processing areas which were located. The marijuana plants were in various stages from seedlings to mature, the site was set up as a multi-stage grow and appeared to have been harvested several times. Suspects had been diverting water from the flume into several large man-made reservoirs to disperse water to the grow site.

An extensive campsite and firearms were found and processed for evidence. A total of 21,620 marijuana plants and 250 pounds of processed marijuana was seized and removed from the site. If allowed to grow to maturity these plants would have produced in excess of 21,600 pounds of processed bud. If sold to dispensaries or on the streets the total value of the crop would be in excess of $64,860,000. However it needs to be noted that all parts of a mature marijuana plant can be utilized to produce a marijuana concentrate, known as Honey Oil, this process and the ability to use the entire plant greatly increases the value of the marijuana at the site. Also located were rat poison, various insecticides and fertilizers used to spray the plants.

It was determined the connected grow sites were spread between private and B.L.M. lands. A reclamation project will be planned by B.L.M. for clean-up on the Federal lands after the marijuana season.

 

7/24/12
Three Rivers / Lindsay

Suspects arrested
Enrigue Ramos 50 yoa, Lindsay – 11358 & 11359 H&S
Pedro Alvarez, 47 yoa, Three Rivers – 273a PC

Detectives completed a several month’s long investigation by serving search warrants at two locations, the 45000 block of South Fork Dr, Three Rivers and the 22000 block of Ave. 256, Lindsay. Upon arrival at both locations detectives detained the above listed suspects and several additional subjects. Investigation showed that both locations were out of compliance with state laws and local ordinances. 242 marijuana plants were seized from a sophisticated indoor/outdoor grow at the Three Rivers residence, Also seized were (2) rifles and (4) handguns. S-Alvarez was charged with child endangerment as a (9) year old boy was staying at the residence, the guns were placed in various locations around the house for easy access and a marijuana processing area was set-up in the kitchen. All the guns and marijuana were in easy access to the child. Edison officials were contacted to check the wiring into the large indoor grow area, substandard wiring was found and power was shut off to the residence until repairs are made by the property owner.

144 marijuana plants, (3) rifles and (1) handgun were seized from the Lindsay residence. Several suspects are still being sought for questioning.

 

7/31/12
Bear Creek Area above SCICON / Springville

STEP Detectives conducted an eradication operation in the Bear Creek area above SCICON on U.S. Forest Service land. Officers hiked through steep terrain into the garden site and seized 4,045 marijuana plants. Upon arrival suspects fled into the surrounding area.  These plants were located on numerous plots within a .5 mile radius.  Water from Bear Creek had been diverted into numerous ponding basins with a complex watering system in place to irrigate the plants. Some marijuana plants were mature and evidence of harvesting was located. A processing center, trash piles and various chemicals were located. Detectives tore down the diverted water basins allowing it to return to the natural streams and creeks.  Additional work will be done on this area to restore it to a natural state after the marijuana season, to lessen the danger to workers on those projects.

Photos are available on the Sheriff’s Flickr page under the title Eradication Detail 07-31-12:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157630861181494/

These cases are still under investigation by the TCSO STEP Unit.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Manslaughter - Johnsondale Area
LOCATION:  100 block of Mountain 99, Johnsondale          DATE:  07-31-12          TIME:  2230 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-09876         VICTIM:  Slenka, Peter age 52          CITY:  Apple Valley, CA

On the above date and time Deputies responded to a call of a gunshot victim in the 100 block of Mountain 99, Johnsondale. Deputies arrived on scene and found the victim deceased with an apparent gunshot wound to the upper body. The suspect, Ralph Zinck was still on scene and had attempted to give first aid to the victim.

During the investigation it was discovered that the victim and suspect were friends and in-laws and were drinking together at the victim’s residence throughout the evening. The victim was also showing the suspect a new handgun he had recently purchased. As they were handling the gun, Zinck shot Slenka, not knowing the gun was loaded. Zinck was arrested for manslaughter and was booked at the Porterville Substation.

Anyone information should call Detective Richard Ramirez at (559) 733-6211 or send anonymous information by sending a text message or email to TCSO@tipnow.com or call 1-800-TIPNOW.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
459pc-Burglary
LOCATION:  10000 block of Ave 392-Dinuba          DATE:  07-30-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-9814         VICTIM:  47 yr old male          CITY: 

Suspect: 18 year old Rene Perez from Dinuba areaVictim reported a burglary to his residence, where cash, a portable video game system and jewelry were stolen for a total loss of approx. $513.00.  A fifteen year old male juvenile and 18 year old Rene Perez were contacted a residence located near the victim's residence.  During an interview Perez admitted to stealing the property from the victim's residence. Deputies recovered several of the victim's watches which had been reported in the burglary and returned the stolen property to the victim.  Perez was arrested and booked.

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Update to Homicide - Orosi Area
LOCATION:  12700 block of Ira St., Orosi          DATE:  07-31-12          TIME:  0007 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-09724         VICTIM:  Lopez, Martin age 16          CITY:  Cutler

On 07/31/2012 an autopsy was conducted. The cause of death was determined to be exsanguination due to gun shot wounds to the upper body. The case remains under investigation.

Anyone with information should call Detective Steve Sanchez or Detective Joe Torres at (559) 733-6211 or send anonymous information by sending a text message or email to TCSO@tipnow.com or call 1-800-TIPNOW.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Possession and Possession of Methamphetamine for sales/ Maintaining a residence for illegal narcotic
LOCATION:  11400 Block of Ave 264          DATE:  07-30-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-9768         VICTIM:           CITY: 

Deputies from the Sheriff’s Departments Headquarters Patrol division received an anonymous tip of narcotic sales in the area of Ave 264 and Harrison when they were led to a residence in the 11400 Blk of Ave 264. Deputies located a female at the residence who was subsequently arrested on two (2) felony warrants and was on felony probation, the suspect, Lowe, was also contacted at the residence and was found to be on felony probation as well. Deputies conducted a probation compliance check and located a small amount of methamphetamine and indicia related to the sales of narcotics. The Deputies contacted Investigators from the Narcotics Division who responded and took over the investigation.
Investigators served a search warrant and the ensuing investigation and search revealed that Suspect Lowe was in possession of approximately 3.8 grams of Methamphetamine, 6 grams of Cocaine, 5.4 ounces of Marijuana, prescription drugs without a prescription, indicia related to the sale of illegal narcotics, maintaining a residence for illicit narcotic sales, five (5) handguns, three (3) shotguns, two (2) rifles, ammunition for the weapons and body armor. Lowe is a previously convicted felon as well.

David Lowe : 11377/ 11378/ 11366/ 11368/ 11634/ 11357 H&S  4060 B&P 466/ 21810/ 21310/ 29800(a)(1)/ 29815/ 12370(a) PC

Suspect Lowe was booked the Tulare County Jail on the listed charges.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Division (559) 713-2950.

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Overdue Hikers
LOCATION:  Ponderosa / Parker Pass area          DATE:  07-17-2012          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-9764         VICTIM:  Linda and David Donohoe          CITY:  Terra Bella

UPDATE 07-31-12:
David and Linda Donohoe were reportedly seen at a bed and breakfast near Ponderosa on Saturday, July 28, 2012 at approximately 1327 hours.

They were also reported driving near the Ponderosa Lodge in their GREEN Jeep Wrangler on Sunday, July 29, 2012.

The Sheriff's Office has been able to make contact with the Donohoes yet and are still attempting to locate them.

Please call the Sheriff's Office if you have any information regarding the location of Linda and David Donohoe.  If anyone does come in contact with them please refer them to the Sheriff's Office regarding this case.  800-808-0488

PRIOR RELEASE:
On July 17th, Linda Donohoe and her husband David Donohoe left on a comping trip to the Ponderosa / Parker Pass area in Tulare County and have not been seen since.  They are believed to be in a 1994 Jeep Wrangler, plate number 4HQH245.

Anyone with information regrading their wherabouts is askted to contact the Tulare County Sheriff's Office.

Non-Emergency line 800-808-0488
Anonymous Voicemail or text 559-725-4194
Anonymous e-mail tcso@tipnow.com

Photos and Flyers available on the Sheriff's Flickr page at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157630830178154/

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Boating Accident
LOCATION:  Kings River near Club Royal Oak Resort          DATE:  7-29-12          TIME:  0050 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-9732         VICTIM:  State of California          CITY: 

On Sunday 7-29-12 at 0050 hours,  TCSO Deputies from Visala and Orosi SubStations were dispatched to a boating accident occurring on the Kings River near the Club Royal Oak Resort. Deputies were told the boat operator and 6 passengers jumped  out of the boat as it was sinking. The TCSO  Kings River  Boat Patrol launched to assist with locating victims.  

Within 2 hours,  all occupants had been located  and none reported any injuries.  

Preliminary investigation determined the operator,  Sikora collided into the shoreline and became lodged on the embankment.   While attempting to  reverse throttle,  the boat began taking on water over the stern (rear).  The passengers began evacuating and the boat overturned.    The boat was recovered and extracted from the river with the use of a tow truck.  

No environmental hazards occurred. 

CHP  assisted and evaluated Sikora for DUI.   Sikora was arrested for operating a vessel while intoxicated.   He was booked into Tulare County Jail 

The case is currently under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol.

Taken into custody were:    Sikora,  Dawson 

Charges:   H&N 655(b),   H&N 655(C) 

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Vessel/Citizen's Assist on the Kings River
LOCATION:  Kings River south of Ave 416 between Royal Oaks and Kingsburg Gun Club          DATE:  7-29-12          TIME:  1626/1715 hr
CASE NUMBER:  See below         VICTIM:  61 yr old male and 23 yr old male          CITY: 

On the above date and time a 61 year old male was assisted on the Kings River when his PWC was overturned and he was in the cold water.  Deputies towed the subjects vessel and transported the male to Royal Oaks Resort where he was treated and released by medics and fire fighters for possible Hypothermia.

After deputies cleared the scene, deputies were flagged down by a citizen who advised that a 23 year old male was injured and had possible spinal injuries while diving into the river from a vessel.  Deputies transported Paramedics and Fire Fighters on the vessel to the injured subject.  The subject had dove into the river from a beached vessel, head first, and sustained some possible head, neck and spinal injuries.  The subject was transported to Fresno Regional Hospital by Paramedics, to be treated for his injuries.

Case #'s 12-9755/12-9758

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
187 PC -Homicide
LOCATION:  12700 block of Ira St.          DATE:  7-29-12          TIME:  0007 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-9724         VICTIM:  Lopez, Martin          CITY:  Cutler

On the above date and time detectives were in the area and heard shots fired in the 12700 block of Ira Street. While enroute the check the area, reports came in of a gun shot victim at that location. Upon arrival detectives found a party breaking up and the victim on scene suffering from gun shot wounds to the upper body. The victim was air lifted to an area hospital but was pronounced decease on arrival. 

 

Detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit responded. During the investigation it was discovered a group of apparent gang members were at the party, confronted the victim, and shot him. The case remains under investigation.

 

Anyone information should call Detective Steve Sanchez at (559) 733-6211 or send anonymous information by sending a text message or email to TCSO@tipnow.com or call 1-800-TIPNOW.   

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Sheriff Bill Wittman to Promote Four Sergeants
LOCATION:  Sheriff's Headquarters - 2404 W. Burrel, Visalia          DATE:  07-30-2012          TIME:  1430 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  N/A         VICTIM:  N/A          CITY:  N/A

Sheriff Bill Wittman will be holding a ceremony to promote two Detectives and two Correctional Deputies to the rank of Sergeant on Monday, July 30, 2012 at 2:30 PM. The ceremony will be held at the Tulare County Sheriff's Headquarters’ Lobby.  Friends and family will also be present to show their support.

Correctional Sergeant Javier Martinez, age 27 of Visalia,  began his career with the Sheriff’s Office in September of 2006 as a Correctional Deputy assigned to the Bob Wiley Detention Facility.  During this assignment he held posts in housing and as the intake officer.  Martinez was a member of the Detentions Gang Unit, a Training Officer and held a place in the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team.  Martinez is supported in his new assignment, as a Correctional Sergeant at the Adult Pre-Trial Facility, by his wife Gina and family.

Correctional Sergeant Megan Pinheiro, age 29 of Visalia, began her career in law enforcement with Fresno County Probation.  She came to the Sheriff’s Office in December of 2006 as a Correctional Deputy assigned to the Bob Wiley Detention Facility.  She is an active member of the Detentions Gang Unit and also assisted with the Gang Violence Suppression Unit’s large scale gang sweeps throughout the years.  Pinheiro has been rewarded for her hard work by the Department and County as part of the Employee Recognition program.  She also supports local youth as a soccer coach for Valley Oak Middle School.  She is supported in her new assignment, as a Correctional Sergeant at the Adult Pre-Trial Facility, by her husband, son and family.

Sergeant Gabriel Macias, age 39 of Lindsay, began his career with the Sheriff’s Office in November of 2002, assigned to the Main Jail Facility.  In April of 2005 he transferred to the Porterville Patrol Substation.  While working as a Patrol Deputy, Macias became the Terra Bella Community Based Officer and Field Training Officer.  In April of 2008, Macias became a Detective in the Sheriff’s Tactical Enforcement Personnel (STEP) Unit.  While assigned to STEP he received specialized training and assisted as a Range Master for the Training Unit and the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team. He was a SWAT Team Leader and served dignitary security during Governor Swarzennegger’s visit to Tulare County.  Macias served in the Sheriff’s Honor Guard for a number of years, was the Porterville Exchange Club’s Officer of the Year for 2007, Deputy Sheriff’s Association’s Officer of the Year in 2011 and recently received a letter of commendation from the Sheriff for his leadership during a SWAT detail involving a hostage situation.  Macias is supported in his new assignment, as a Patrol Sergeant at the Pixley Substation, by his wife Cindy, daughters Cassandra and Sarah, his son Vincent and family.

Sergeant Michael Yandell, age 34 of Visalia, began his career with the Sheriff’s Office in December of 2000, assigned to the Main Jail Facility.  In February of 2005 he transferred to Headquarters’ Patrol and became one of the Sheriff’s Field Training Officers.  In September of 2007 Yandell became a Detective with the Sheriff’s Gang Violence Suppression Unit (GVSU).  While assigned to GVSU, Yandell was part of the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force.  Yandell transferred to the STEP Unit in March of 2010. He received specialized training in a number of areas including asset forfeiture, SWAT Team sniper and SWAT Team Leader.  He is also trained and assisted as a Range Master for both the Training Unit and SWAT and is a Less Lethal Weapons Instructor.  Yandell was an active member of the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team and served on the Deputy Sheriff’s Association Executive Board for eight years, holding positions of Vice President and Sergeant at Arms.  The members of the Tulare County Deputy Sheriff’s Association awarded Yandell Officer of the Year twice during his career.  Yandell is supported in his new assignment, as a Patrol Sergeant at the Pixley Substation, by all of his family which includes Retired Tulare County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Darrel Yandell.

Sheriff Bill Wittman offers his sincere congratulations to his new Sergeants, and wishes them well in their new assignments. The public is welcome to join the department, friends and family in the Sheriff's Headquarters’ Lobby Monday, July 30, 2012 at 2:30 PM to celebrate the promotion.

Refreshments to follow.

Pictures available on the Sheriff's Flickr page at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157630783157558/

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Arrests made for solicitation to commit murder, conspiracy to commit murder
LOCATION:  Rural Tulare County          DATE:  03-09-2012          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-07609         VICTIM:  Caucasian, Male adult          CITY:  Woodlake

S1 – Lee Ann Jones, 19 years old of Woodlake

S2 – Cesar Arellano, 23 years old of Woodlake

On 03/09/12, Suspect Jones asked a known associate if he would be willing to kill the victim for a sum of $2,500. 

Detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit initiated an investigation into the allegations and over the course of the next month recorded several conversations from both Jones and her current boyfriend, Cesar Arellano, as they attempted to make arrangements to have the victim murdered.

The victim was notified of the ongoing investigation and kept informed of the progress as it proceeded.

Detectives obtained warrants for the arrest of Jones and Arellano and they were both arrested on Thursday, July 26, 2012. Jones was arrested at Oak and Floral Street, in Visalia as she was seen driving in the area. She was arrested without incident on the outstanding arrest warrant for the above charges and was later booked into the Bob Wiley Detention Facility. Arellano was seen driving in the area of Noble and Pinkham streets and arrested without incident on the outstanding warrant for the above charges. He was later booked into the Tulare County Main Jail. Bail was set at $150,000 each.

The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information should contact Det. Joe Torres or Det. Richard Ramirez at the Violent Crimes Office at 559-735-1898 or 800-808-0488 Information can also be sent anonymously by sending an email or text to TCSO@TIPNOW.COM or (559) 725-4194.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Arrests made on narcotics case
LOCATION:  1000 Blk of N. Foothill          DATE:  07-26-2012          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-40117         VICTIM:  State of CA          CITY:  Lindsay

After an approximate two (2) week investigation into illegal narcotics trafficking in the Lindsay area, investigators from the Inter-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team were led to a residence in the 1000 Blk of N. Foothill where a search warrant was served.  The ensuing investigation and search revealed that the listed suspects were in possession of approximately six (6) ounces of Marijuana packaged for sales, indicia related to the sale of marijuana, maintaining a residence for illicit narcotic sales, Cultivation of marijuana, an unregistered assault weapon with magazines capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds. A sum of cash was also seized.  There was an eleven (11) year old juvenile in the residence that was being exposed to these activities and was within reach of the narcotics and firearms.
The suspects were arrested for the following charges:

#1: Juan Antonio Hinojosa, age 25 of Lindsay
11359/ 11366 H&S/ 273(a)/ 26500/30305/27505/ 182/186.22 PC

#2: Guadalupe Gonzalez, age 18 of Lindsay
11358/ 11366 H&S 273(a) / 182 PC

#3: Male Juvenile, age 17 of Lindsay
11359/ 11366 H&S/ 32310/30720/29650/12022(a) 182/186.22 PC 

All suspects booked at their respective Tulare County Detention Facilities on the listed charges.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Division/ INET (559) 713-2950.

Photos available through the Main Jail.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Homicide/ 187PC
LOCATION:  Avenue 362 & Rd 156, Ivanhoe          DATE:  7-23-12          TIME:  1807
CASE NUMBER:  12-9519         VICTIM:  Cruz Medina, 18, Orosi          CITY: 

VICTIM#1: Cruz Medina, 18, Orosi, deceased
VICTIM #2: Male adult, 26, Ivanhoe, received non life threatening gun shot wounds and was treated at a local hospital.
VICTIM #3: Male Adult, 19, Ivanhoe, treated at a local hospital for minor injuries and released.

At the above date and time, CHP responded to this call of a single vehicle traffic accident at Ave 362 & Rd 156. Upon arrival, CHP and deputies found one of subjects deceased from injuries that appeared to be related to the accident. The other two were transported to local area hospitals. The 26 year old was found to be suffering from gun shot wounds and the case was turned over to the Sheriff’s Department.

During the investigation it was discovered that as the victims were driving in the area they were shot at, resulting in the gun shot wounds and in the traffic accident. It is undetermined if the case is gang related at this time.

The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information should contact Det. Steve Sanchez or Sgt. Gary Hunt at the Violent Crimes Office at 559-735-1898 or 800-808-0488.

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Possessing / Passing Forged Check
LOCATION:  Tipton Food Mart, Poplar Mini Mart          DATE:  7-22-12          TIME:  1530 hours
CASE NUMBER:  12-9387         VICTIM:           CITY: 

On 7-22-12, two markets in neighboring towns report that an unknown male subject was attempting to cash forged checks at their places of business. During one such action, the suspect was successful and cashed a fraudulent check.

Upon receiving the reports, Detectives of the South County Detective Bureau identified a possible suspect that was currently in custody on unrelated charges. The suspect, Gabino Nunez, was contacted and admitted to cashing the fraudulent check and attempting to cash another. Nunez was booked on fresh P.C.475 charges and later transported to the Tulare County Main Jail.

The case is currently under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff's Department. To provide any further information regarding this crime please contact Detective Judd Hembree at (559) 782-9674.

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Assault with a Deadly Weapon / PC 245
LOCATION:  5600 block of Lawrence Ave.          DATE:  072012          TIME:  1920
CASE NUMBER:  2-9301         VICTIM:  Carlos Reyes          CITY:  Dinuba

Narrative:

On 7-20-2012 at approximately 1921 hours, Deputies from the Orosi Substation responded to an address at the 5600 block of Lawrence Ave. regarding a report of a man armed with a knife. Once on scene deputies determined that an assault, criminal threats, vandalism and possession of an illegal dagger had occurred which resulted in approximately $1,500.00 property damage. The suspect attempted to assault his father with the dagger, threatened to kill his juvenile sister, and caused extensive damage to the residence. The suspect was taken into custody and booked into custody at the Main Jail.

The case is currently under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

Taken into custody were: Juan Carlos Reyes (21 years of age)

Charges: PC 245, PC 422, PC 594 and PC 21310.

 
...posted by DISPATCH
*****
Media Day Scheduled to follow Marijuana Suppression Team
LOCATION:           DATE:           TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:           VICTIM:           CITY: 

Media are invited to follow the Marijuana Suppression Team during a specifric eradication detail.

If your media group is interested in participating, you will need to e-mail the PIO, Sergeant Chris Douglass, and she will provide the specific details, date, time and meeting location.

Sergeant Chris Douglass:  cdouglass@co.tulare.ca.us

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Home Invasion
LOCATION:  8000 block Road 151          DATE:  7-17-12          TIME:  0915 Hrs.
CASE NUMBER:  12-9131         VICTIM:  Confidential          CITY:  Pixley

Deputies responded to the 8000 block of Road 151, Pixley regarding a residential burglary.  The victim’s reported they were home asleep when three unknown men forced entry into their home.  Two of the men were wearing masks and three of them possessed hand guns.  The men took money and property valued at approximately $40.00.  The victims were not injured.  The unknown suspects fled the area in an older white Ford Mustang. 


This case is under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.  Anyone with information should contact Deputy Luis Pineda 559-757-3526.

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
PC 459/182
LOCATION:  41800 block of Fruitvale Road          DATE:  7/15/2012          TIME:  0300 Hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-09034         VICTIM:  Fancher Creek Packing          CITY:  Orosi

Narrative:

On 7/15/2012 at approximately 0300 hours deputies responded to the 41800 block of Fruitvale Road regarding a burglar alarm at a business. Upon their arrival the deputies located property from the business staged outside the fence and a suspicious pickup leaving the area. Deputies conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and observed additional property in the bed of the pickup.

The subsequent investigation led to the arrest of the three suspects listed below for burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary.

The owner of the business later recovered the stolen property which was estimated at a value of $895.

 

The case is currently under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Taken into custody were:    

 

Ramon Nunez, 18 yrs, Orosi

Damien Rodriguez, 18 yrs, Orosi

Isabel Nunez, 18 yrs, Orosi

 

 
...posted by DISPATCH
*****
Numerous Marijuana Grow Sites Eradicated
LOCATION:  Public and private lands throughout Tulare County          DATE:  July          TIME:  N/A
CASE NUMBER:  Numerous         VICTIM:  State of CA          CITY:  N/A

Over the past 10 days Detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department S.T.E.P. Unit completed several months of investigations by conducting marijuana grow site raid/eradication operations on public and private lands throughout the mountainous areas of Tulare County. These operations were conducted with the assistance of Federal Officers from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s C.E.R.T. program (Cannabis Eradication & Reclamation Teams).  The C.E.R.T. program has replaced the state run C.A.M.P. program.

Officers raided (11) marijuana gardens over the (10) day period. Four suspects were apprehended in various grow sites during raids. Additional suspects fled into the thick underbrush and steep terrain and have not been apprehended. Approximately 106,529 live marijuana plants were seized during these operations. If allowed to fully mature each of these plants would yield in excess of one pound of usable marijuana bud with a street value over $3,000 per pound. The total combined monetary value of these grows would be over $319,587,000.

In addition to the marijuana plants seized, detectives also seized several firearms, ammunition for various pistols, rifles and shotguns and multiple pounds of fertilizer, pesticides and rat poison. Carcasses of various animals were discovered in several of the grow sites, including one of an endangered Ring-Tailed Cat and evidence of a bear cub being shot by growers on U.S. Forest lands.

Detectives and Federal Officers removed trash, water hose, pesticides and fertilizers from the public land gardens and restored, as much of the natural streams and creeks which had been diverted by growers as possible (a process known as reclamation.) Additional work will be done on these areas to restore them to their natural state after the marijuana season, to lessen the danger to workers on those projects.

Refer to below for individual garden sites

July 5th
Crawford Creek  - Western Divide highway near Walk of 100 Giants.  TCSO Case # 12-60776

S1: Isain Cruz Mercado, age 24 of Mexico – Charged with 11358 and 11359 H&S, ICE hold
S2: Hugo Alberto Flores Torres, age 28 of Mexico - Charged with 11358 and 11359 H&S, ICE hold

Deputies contacted and arrested the above listed suspects who had been living in a marijuana grow in the area of the “Walk of 100 Giants” in the Sequoia National Monument on the Great Western Divide Highway. Subsequent investigation eradicated 4541 marijuana plants from this site. This site is scheduled for later reclamation.

July 9th
Backbone Creek 1, 2 & 3 Blue Ridge near Springville   TCSO Case # 12-60745

Benito Baldovinos Mendoza, unk age of Mexico ICE hold Charged with 11358 and 11359
Jesus Aguliar, age 49 of Mexico ICE hold, Charged with 11358 and 11359 H&S

Detectives apprehended the above listed suspects in this large marijuana grow on private land.  Subsequent investigation eradicated 30,617 live marijuana plants from these connected sites

July 10th
Backbone # 4 / Pine Creek, Balch Park, TCSO Case #’s 12-60745 and 12-60784

After an early morning insertion, detectives found that suspects fled into thick brush surrounding these garden sites on U.S. Forest Service lands. Detective’s eradicated 29,238 marijuana plants from the Backbone #4 grow site and 8,160 marijuana plants from the Pine Creek location. Cleanup efforts were completed on the Pine Creek site but due to the size of the Backbone grow site,  reclamation efforts are pending.

July 11th
Dry Creek #1 & Persian Creek, Badger TCSO case #’s 12-60789 and 12-60779

After an early morning insertion detectives found that suspects fled into thick brush surrounding these garden sites on private ranch lands in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Detective’s eradicated 3,078 marijuana plants from the Dry Creek #1 grow site and 7,974 marijuana plants from the Persain Creek location.


July 12th
Bennett Creek, Three Rivers– TCSO Case # 12-60794
After an early morning insertion detectives found that suspects fled into thick brush surrounding these garden sites on private ranch lands in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Detectives eradicated 2,156 marijuana plants from this location

July 13th
Dry Creek #2 & Dry Creek #3, Badger 
Detectives found that suspects fled into thick brush surrounding these garden sites on U.S. Forest Service lands as they made entry into the sites. Detectives eradicated 7,445 marijuana plants from the Dry Creek #2 grow site and 13,361 marijuana plants from the Dry Creek #3 location. Cleanup efforts were completed on both sites.

These cases are still under investigation by the TCSO STEP Unit. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office S.T.E.P. Unit 800-808-0488 or through the TipNow Program.  Text, voicemail or email 559-725-4194 or tcso@tipnow.com.

Pictures are available on the Sheriff's Flicker page under the set titled "Marijuana Eradication - July":
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157630576275222/

 
...posted by media relations
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