Tag Archives: Marijuana

Marijuana Laws: What It Means To Our Community

By Michael Armijo9-26-marijuana-raid-pic

Since Proposition 64 passed a few months ago in the Nov 2016 Presidential election, many Californians have assumed that all sales and use of marijuana have become legal. They have not, but the confusion lies in the fact that only PART has kicked in immediately. The recreational sales of the law aren’t legal until next year. There is a lot of confusion over what’s legal and what isn’t.
“When Prop. 64 passed, all the personal rights kicked in the next day,” said Brooke E. Staggs, a reporter with The Cannifornian, a California-based marijuana information site, according to an ABC7 online report. “That means anyone 21 and over can have up to an ounce of marijuana. You can grow up to 6 plants per home. But what did not become legal overnight was selling marijuana.”

Although state law has approved sales and possession, some cities have banned dispensaries and sales all together, which they do have a constitutional right to do so.

At this time , the City of Chino and Chino Hills, permissive zoning regulations, prohibits all commercial activity related to marijuana, whether it be focused toward medical, recreational or any other non-medical purpose, and  that all cultivation, processing,  delivery of marijuana and all marijuana dispensaries are prohibited in all zones and specific plan areas throughout the city. Ordinance No. 305 explains the ban of commercial marijuana activity. The City of Eastvale has a zero tolerance policy and has taken action to crack down on pot growing houses. Recently we have seen a dramatic drop in discovery of these illegal activities. Riverside Sheriff has reminded property owners, landlords and renters that growing or selling marijuana for profit still remains illegal in the state of California.  To read more refer to your cities municipal code online.

Staggs said a lot of dispensaries that were selling marijuana for medical use have now begun selling it recreationally, even though they shouldn’t be. Some of them are allowing people to just walk in, show proof of age and make a purchase.
But the state isn’t expected to hand out business licenses for recreational marijuana until January 2018, she said. It is expected to involve detailed regulations and permit requirements, so those looking to get into the business should start studying now, she advised.
In the meantime, to legally purchase now you still need a medical marijuana card. But someone with a card can legally give up to 1 ounce of marijuana for free, she noted. And people can grow the plants at home as well.




Eastvale: Crime Recap July 2014

Crime ImageThe following is a crime recap for the month of July in the Cities of Eastvale, Corona, Norco, and Jurupa Valley. Information is from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and from our Eastvale Community News Facebook Page.

On Tues., July 15 about 11:45 a.m., deputies assigned to the Jurupa Valley Station, Norco Sheriff’s Office, responded to the 2200 block of Vista Ridge in the city of Norco. This was in reference to a stolen vehicle investigation. Upon arriving, deputies located the stolen vehicle parked in the driveway of a residence. As the deputies continued with their investigation, they were able to locate and identify the suspects, who were found hiding in the residence. Lawrence Piper, 30, was arrested for possession of stolen property, burglary, and two felony warrants for parole violations; Julie Stewart, 28, was arrested for possession of stolen property, burglary, and a felony warrant for possession of controlled substance; and Tayler Jenkins, 23, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and violation of probation.

On July 18, at about 1:30 p.m., members of the Riverside Sheriff’s Special Investigation Bureau, along with deputies assigned to the Norco Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant in the 3700 block of California Avenue, in the city of Norco. The search warrant was the result of an investigation into an illegal outdoor marijuana grow operation at the location. During the search warrant service, over 400 marijuana plants were located and seized. The subsequent investigation resulted in the arrest of two adult suspects, identified as Israel Martinez, 49, and Wilivaldo Arteaga Martinez, 34, residents from the city of Ontario. They were each booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center (RPDC) for marijuana cultivation and conspiracy charges.

On Sat., July 19, at approximately 8:30 a.m., officers from the Jurupa Valley Police Department responded to an assault with a deadly weapon report in the 3400 block of Skylane Drive. At the scene officers found Simona Mateas, 43, lying in the driveway suffering from gunshot wounds. There was reportedly a second victim at the home as well. Both were transported to a local hospital where Mateas succumbed to her injuries. The San Bernardino Police Department was dispatched later in the day responding to a suicide report, whereby Ayram Mateas, the husband of Simona, was found deceased inside the front door of a residence in the 1600 block of West Lincoln Avenue in San Bernardino. Upon further investigation it was found that the Mateas couple had been going through divorce proceedings, which may have instigated the murder/suicide.

On Sunday, July 20, two women were killed in a fiery crash on the I-15 freeway in the early morning hours. According to the California Highway Patrol, Julio Reyes, 34, of Riverside, was driving a black 2014 Lexus sedan while he was traveling southbound at alleged speeds of over 100 mph near Hidden Valley Parkway in Corona, when he slammed into the back of a silver Toyota. The Toyota burst into flames and both women were pronounced dead at the scene. Reyes was found by officers to be under the influence of alcohol and was he arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and drunken driving causing bodily injury. Reyes and two other passengers in his car sustained minor injuries. The names of the women have not yet been released.


Chino: Police Seize 25 Pounds Of Marijuana

City of Chino

Chino – Three subjects were arrested after approximately 25 pounds of unpackaged marijuana was seized from a residence on Mon., June 2.

Chino Police Officers responded to the 5400 block of Mt. Vernon Avenue at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon to follow up on information involving possible marijuana use. Officers located a large amount of marijuana and returned later in the evening to serve a search warrant, which led to the discovery of approximately 25 pounds of marijuana, along with equipment used to grow marijuana.

Marlene Hernandez, 32, Francisco Hernandez, 40, and Eduardo Martinez, 38, all of Chino, were subsequently arrested and booked at the West Valley Detention Center for processing marijuana and possession of marijuana for sales. Martinez was also charged with possession of concentrated cannabis.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Chino Police Department at (909) 628-1234.

Eastvale: The Road To Rehab – Inside A Pot House



Pot House paraphernalia

Eastvale – The road to rehabilitating a pot house is a long and arduous one, costing the homeowner time and a significant amount of money in order to restore it to being habitable.

A few months ago the Eastvale Community News explained how pot houses are identified and what goes into finding one; and earlier this month we gave you a video exclusive of what the inside of a pot house looks like. But what happens after the police leave? Read on…


A room retrofitted to accommodate marijuana growth – a Landlord’s nightmare. (Photo Courtesy: Jennifer Madrigal)

Once a home is identified, be it through police detective work or from a homeowner calling the police, a pot house begins to be processed. The Eastvale Police Department’s Special Forces team comes in and identifies and tags evidence, takes pictures, destroys drugs in all stages of development, and clears the home of all evidence, materials, money, weapons, etc. The police then contact the city and Southern California Edison (SCE). SCE comes out and immediately shuts off the power. The city sends building and city code officials to inspect the home for mold and other contaminants. The house is then “red tagged” and deemed uninhabitable until permits are pulled and all damage is corrected.

The most common problems that these houses endure are the major modifications made to the air conditioning system, primarily to cool the attic and avoid infrared detection; mold in the ceilings, floors and walls; torn up drywall with insulation removed; pipe damage due to marijuana and corrosive pesticides being flushed in the drains; carpet damage due to “seeding” fallout; and water damage to walls and floors (both floors in a two-story dwelling). These modifications can cause significant safety risks to the structure and any occupants, and must be corrected immediately. Of course all of this is provided that the house does not catch fire due to the amping up of the electrical system to engage the high-intensity sun-spectrum lighting, and bypassing the system to avoid SCE detection and payment of electricity.

According to Tim Steenson, building official for the City of Eastvale, the city issues a variety of permits that are necessary for the safe restoration of these residences. The first permit, to regain electrical power, is kept separate in order to allow the homeowner the power needed to initiate repairs while the home is still red-tagged. Only when the electrical damages to the distribution system have been repaired and approved by SCE and the city, can power be restored.

Another important permit needed is for the actual rehabilitation of the house. This specialized permit involves the clearing of mold by appropriately trained professionals; the repair of structural damage to the home including drywall and duct work; the removal of extra air conditioning equipment and the return of standard flow; and ensuring all parts of the home are up to code and safe. Once all of these repairs are made, the city will then return to do a final inspection. If the home is approved, it can be removed from red tag status. Then the work of replacing carpets, flooring, pipes, paint, cabinetry, appliances and anything else that might have been damaged apart from the structure comes into play.

So who pays for all this damage? Homeowner insurance often has a “no criminal activity” clause, and although homeowners may be able to re-coup some of their money, they can end up being stuck with the costs. Sgt. Davis of Eastvale’s Special Forces team assigned to these grow houses, says that homeowners can try and re-sell the expensive equipment used in the process, (lights, fans, etc.) to try and make some of the money back. The criminals that leave these things behind are usually unable to come back and retrieve their equipment, furniture, and televisions, and the sale of such might allow the homeowners to make a little of the money back.

In 2012, a convicted pot-grower in Florida was presented not only with jail time, but with an electrical utility bill in the amount of $26,000 and ordered to pay. Other convictions have resulted in financial repayment to the victims of these crimes, but that is not a probable solution. Many criminals are never caught. At any rate, the homeowner is ultimately responsible, and any restitution from a conviction would be a long, long way down the road.

With all the damage that these houses endure, and the major costs associated with their repair, shutting them down before they start or when they are in their early stages is crucial. According to Eastvale Police Department’s Lt. Yates at the May 28 Safety Council Meeting, marijuana grow houses are decreasing in Eastvale. “To date we have had 55 houses seized and shut down, but where we once had three or four a week, we are now down to about one per month,” said Yates. This shows that the collaborative efforts of law enforcement and the City, as well as the awareness of the community, is working. We are driving these houses out of our city.
K.P. Sander contributed to this story.

EASTVALE: 295 Marijuana Plants Seized in Illegal Marijuana Grow

eastvale police curfew

(Image courtesy : City of Eastvale)


During an ongoing investigation related to illegal residential marijuana grow operations in the city of Eastvale; officers assigned to the city of Eastvale’s Special Enforcement Team obtained new information regarding a residence being used for an illegal marijuana grow operation. A follow-up investigation was initiated and a search warrant was obtained for the residence. Residence was located in the 6000 Block of Massey Way, Eastvale.

On Thursday, March 20, 2014, at 5:30 p.m., the search warrant was served by officers assigned to the city of Eastvale’s Special Enforcement Team. During the service of this search warrant, no subjects were detained inside the residence. Officers discovered the residence had been modified for the sole purpose of cultivating, processing and packaging marijuana for sales.  Officers seized 295 marijuana plants.  Additionally, electricity was being bypassed around the meter, causing a serious fire hazard and resulting in approximately $5,000.00 a month in stolen electricity.

The Eastvale Police Department is committed to the safety of the citizens of Eastvale and will be vigilant in investigating all crimes of this nature. The investigation is ongoing and we are reaching out to the public and asking anyone with information about this incident to contact Officer Javier Morando at the Jurupa Valley Station at 951-955-2600.

EASTVALE: 961 Marijuana Plants Seized in Eastvale Home

By: Jennifer Madrigal

Plants seized during investigation. Picture courtesy of Eastvale Police Dept.

Plants seized during investigation. Picture courtesy of Eastvale Police Dept.

EASTVALE- Yongchao Huang was arrested Tuesday Feb. 25 at the 6400 block of Gold Dust St. in Eastvale during a search warrant where Eastvale Police seized 921 marijuana plants, one pound of processed marijuana and packaging material.
The 32-year-old San Gabriel man was detained inside the residence and arrested after Eastvale’s Special Enforcement Team discovered the residence had been modified for cultivating, processing and packaging marijuana. Huang was also accused of bypassing the home’s electricity meter, stealing about $7,600 worth of energy a month and causing a serious fire hazard.
Huang has been charged with cultivation of marijuana and grand theft of utilities.

This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Officer Javier Morando at the Jurupa Valley Station at (951) 955-2600.

Eastvale: Residential Fire Confirmed as Marijuana House


eastvale pot house marijuana

Firefighters respond to residential fire in Eastvale. (Photo courtesy of Mimi Perez)

Eastvale – On Monday night, February 10th, at 6:25p.m. the Eastvale Fire Department responded to a home on fire in the 12000 block of Craigburn Circle in Eastvale. The fire was extinguished and fire personnel’s investigation discovered that the residence contained an indoor marijuana grow operation. According to a press release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Eastvale Police Department was notified. A search warrant was obtained and served by officers assigned to Eastvale’s Special Enforcement Team. Officers were able to seize 1103 marijuana plants and 35 lbs of processed marijuana. Electricity was also being bypassed around the meter, which may have been the cause of the fire.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is committed to the safety of the citizens of Eastvale and will be vigilant in investigating all crimes of this nature. Anyone with information about this incident please contact Officer Javier Morando at the Jurupa Valley Station at 951-955-2600.

Tips for Spotting Pot Houses:

  • Windows often covered from inside residence
  • Commercial grade air conditioners and electrical equipment may be seen being moved or installed (especially by individuals other than uniformed utility workers may be accessing the electrical vaults near the street).
  • Lights and televisions are set on timers, and turn on and off at the same time every day
  • People come and go and leave within a few hours. Often pull in and out of the garage and immediately shut the door.

Diamond Bar: Medical Marijuana: Still Available Locally?


Diamond Bar – Last month, Diamond Bar followed suit with many San Gabriel Valley cities which have moved to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in the county. At their recent meeting on Jan. 21, the City Council moved to amend the City’s municipal code prohibiting the operation and establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries for 45 days in order to comply with Federal law and in order to give City staff time to enact a future ordinance permanently banning dispensaries as a permitted use under the City’s current zoning laws.

Council Member Jack Tanaka said the last dispensary in the City operating several years ago was monitored by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, but the City didn’t experience any problems with the facility at the time. “As long as people had their prescriptions, we left them alone,” said Tanaka, who added, “Things may change as a result of the emergency ordinance the City just passed and as a result of the trend by San Gabriel Valley cities to enforce Federal law. That’s what the Planning Department is going to be looking into the next 45 days.”

Tanaka said mobile dispensaries would also be subject to the City’s amended zoning ordinances. “Normally mobile businesses still have to get licenses to come into the city.” He added that he was not aware of any mobile dispensaries delivering into Diamond Bar but because of the newly approved ordinance, law enforcement would have grounds to shut down any operation if it was made aware of one.”

Citing criminal behavior within the City associated with the dispensaries last summer, through the approval of a similar ordinance, the City of Covina also banned all types of medical marijuana dispensaries from operating within city limits. According to a local newspaper’s account, the City’s decision followed a California Supreme Court ruling in May 2013 that allows cities to make their own decisions on whether medical marijuana dispensaries can operate within their borders.

However, despite the approved bans, there are still medical mobile dispensaries (MMDs) delivering strands of medical marijuana such as Indica, Sativa and edibles, working out of the San Gabriel Valley and delivering to surrounding areas such as La Puente, Pomona, Walnut, La Verne, El Monte, Covina and other parts of the county, according to an online directory posted by High Times Magazine. These dispensaries claim to have “new strains coming every day” and even offer discounts for seniors and college students, as long as they can verify they possess a valid medical marijuana card.

Public information made available by the City of Covina’s staff in 2013 identified at least four services within ten miles that advertised directly within the city on “Weedmaps.com,” an Internet listing service. Staff reports to the City Council last summer stated, “In other parts of the state, shuttered businesses turned to delivery services instead. There is reason to expect the same in the City of Covina in light of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, Covina’s cooperation with Federal law enforcement, and its own aggressive action to shut down MMDs.”

Madeline Balsz, a representative from the Covina City Clerk’s office, confirmed the City’s ordinance also banned mobile dispensaries and deliveries. Wording from the ordinance (No. 13-2022) made public by City staff states, “No person shall deliver marijuana or marijuana infused products, such as tinctures, baked goods or other consumable products, to any location within the City from a medical marijuana dispensary, regardless of where the medical dispensary is located.” A call to City Attorney, Michael Montgomery, to clarify the statutes was not returned at press time, but Lieutenant John Curley of the Covina Police Department said deliveries made by mobile dispensaries into the City would be considered a violation of the City’s statutes.

According to a San Gabriel Valley Tribune report, a Federal crackdown in the City of La Puente forced the last three remaining collectives in that city to shut down two years ago.

However, the website, Where’s Weed?, lists a number of marijuana dispensaries in La Puente which may still be operating under the dispensary delivery business model which does not necessitate a storefront and thus avoids Federal crackdowns. Google searches indicate similar delivery services are operational in Chino, Glendora, Pomona and Rancho Cucamonga, among other San Gabriel Valley cities.

Eastvale: Police Shut Down Another Marijuana House

Marijuana found inside an Eastvale residence. (Riverside Sheriff's Dept.)

Marijuana found inside an Eastvale residence. (Riverside Sheriff’s Dept.)


Eastvale – After a relatively quiet period, the Eastvale Police Department has been successful in shutting down yet another marijuana grow house. The house was located on the 12800 block of Thornbury Lane in Eastvale.

According to a press release from Riverside County Sheriff’s website, the house was part of an ongoing investigation. Once it was confirmed the residence was being used as part of an illegal residential grow operation, officers obtained a search warrant for the residence.

The Eastvale Special Enforcement team served the search warrant on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 9:30 am. During the search, Lou Zhong Wu, a suspect was detained inside the residence. The residence had been modified for the purposes of cultivating, processing and packaging marijuana for sales. Seized were 1170 marijuana plants, 26 pounds of processed marijuana and packaging materials. Electricity had been bypassed around the meter causing a serious fire hazard and resulting in $8700.00 a month in stolen electricity, according the press release.

Lou Zhong Wu, 52, of Monterey Park, was arrested and booked into jail. He was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside for conspiracy, cultivation and possession of marijuana for sales, and grand theft of utilities.

This investigation is ongoing and any information should be reported to officers Angeles and Thompson at the Jurupa Valley Station at 951-955-2600.

Eastvale: Tips For Spotting “Pot Houses”


Eastvale – With yet another successful take down by the Eastvale Police of a marijuana grow house last month, we wanted to take the time to remind the community of some potential warning signs of a pot houses. As a community, we need to continue to work together to report suspicious activity to our Police Department at 951-776-1099 so we can continue to drive these houses and illegal activity out of Eastvale.
Below are some tips for spotting a marijuana grow house:
1. Windows are often covered from the inside of the residence.
2. Commercial-grade air conditioners and electrical equipment may be seen being moved or installed.
3. Individuals other than uniformed utility workers may be accessing the electrical vaults near the street.
4. Lights and televisions are set on timers, turning on and off and at the same times daily.
5. Individuals may arrive and leave within a few hours on a regular basis, and may pull directly into the garage and immediately shut the door.
6. There may be a constant humming sound.