S1 – Richard Burkart, 53 yoa, Dinuba – Charges 11358 H&S, 11359 H&S, 182 PC, 273(a) PC
S2 – Chadwick Burkart, 19 yoa, Dinuba – 11350 H&S. 11351 H&S, 11352 H&S, 11364 H&S
S3 – Jose Jimenez, 36 yoa, Dinuba – 11359 H&S, 273(a) PC, 182 PC, 12022.5a PC
On 3/27/13 at 0700 hrs members of the Tulare County Sheriff's Dept. S.T.E.P. Unit, Narcotics Unit and Gang Unit responded to the above listed location for the service of a Search Warrant on a marijuana growing operation. The search warrant was written for the property after a one month investigation showed marijuana being grown and sold, a crime under California law. Upon arrival detectives contacted the above listed suspects for service of the warrant at both the primary and a secondary residence on the property. The investigation revealed that the S1 – Burkart was found to be responsible for a large marijuana grow located in a green house on the property. The green house contained 1386 mature marijuana plants. Well in excess of the medical recommendations located on the property. S-2 Chad Burkart was found to be in possession of Heroin and to possess heroin for sales. S-3 was contacted at a secondary residence on the property. The investigation showed he was also involved in the marijuana grow and working for S-1 on the marijuana operation. Additionally (19) firearms were located inside the two residences, including (2) assault weapons and (8) handguns.
It was found that the number of plants being grown at the location were clearly in excess of medical needs, A total of 1,386 marijuana plants were eradicated from the locations.
Also seized during the search was approx. (500) pounds of processed packaged marijuana in one pound bags, (19) firearms including (2) Assault weapons and (8) handguns, various packaging materials and scales. Approx. $150,000 in U.S. Currency was also seized. At the time of the search warrant service small children were playing in the immediate area and had easy access to marijuana and firearms around the property.
It is an ongoing problem that criminal groups pay unwitting subjects to obtain medical recommends from doctors who allow them to grow plants well in excess of their medical needs. Subjects who are recommend holders turn over their documents then have nothing to do with the marijuana, which upon harvest is then sold on the street, shipped out of state or to a dispensary out of the area. In this case evidence of out of state marijuana shipments and shipments to dispensaries in Southern California where marijuana from this location was sold for between $2,500 and $4,500 per pound, were also collected. The above suspects were arrested and charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession for sales, conspiracy, Child endangerment and firearms charges.
In addition to the above, the owner of the property was provided notification advising that allowing cultivation of marijuana is a Federal felony. Growing marijuana or allowing it to be grown on your property exposes the property to seizure by the Federal government through the Asset Forfeiture Process which allows the government to seize property obtained or maintained through drug trafficking proceeds.
This case is still under investigation by the TCSO STEP Unit.
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