Siskiyou

Deputy Busts 1,000lb Illegal Cannabis En Route to SoCal Dispensary

Cover Photo by SCSO FB Page

Around 3:00 pm on February 8th, Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Dispatch received a call from a concerned resident of the Mount Shasta Vista area, who reported seeing large box trucks travel in and out of known illegal cannabis grow sites for most of the day. The caller requested patrols of the area, and an SCSO deputy on his way to the Dorris substation from Yreka agreed to investigate the area.

At approximately 4:08 pm as the deputy traveled eastbound on A-12, he observed a white box truck turn onto A-12 from Juniper Drive with expired plates. The deputy contacted dispatch with the plate number and they informed him that the license plate was expired as of August, 2023. As the deputy drew closer, he also noticed the strong odor of cannabis emanating from the vehicle.

Due to vehicle code violations, coupled with the fact that the smell of cannabis was growing stronger the nearer he got to the box truck, the SCSO deputy initiated a traffic stop. The driver identified himself with his California driver’s license as Alberto Cervantes-Preciado, aged 55, of Soledad, California, and his passenger was identified as Danny Alava-Candelario, aged 43.

When asked if they were transporting cannabis, Cervantes-Preciado and Alava-Candelario admitted to working for Delta 9 THC, a licensed Southern California dispensary, and to carrying around 400 pounds of cannabis product. Cervantes-Preciado and Alava-Candelario were then detained, and a probable cause search of the box truck revealed over 1,000 pounds of unlicensed cannabis, a device to measure THC content, and a backpack containing $35,000 in cash.

35k in cash, Photo bySCSO

The driver, Alberto Cervantes-Preciado was cited for possession of cannabis for sale, and the evidence was seized. Cannabis grown and sold out of the Mount Shasta Vista area is illegally cultivated and often sprayed with banned pesticides, which pose both a threat to the environment and human health. In fact, a recent randomized lab test of Mount Shasta Vista cannabis revealed 10 out of the 11 samples contained pesticide levels that are hazardous for human consumption. Despite these concerning findings, licensed dispensaries continue to purchase illegal cannabis from unlicensed growers in Siskiyou County.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the resident who reported the activity to our dispatch team; thanks to their actions, this illegal product was able to be eradicated from the market.

Photo bySCSO

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