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DATE: April 18, 2022

INCIDENT: Operation Hammer Strike Eradicates One Millionth Marijuana Plant

LOCATION:  #1 – 24200 Block of Cascade Trail, Apple Valley

SUSPECT(S): Joshua Kong Meng Cha, 23-year-old male resident of Tarzana, CA.

SUMMARY: On April 18, 2022,  the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) served a search warrant at a residence on Cascade Trail in Apple Valley. MET personnel had received numerous complaints about an indoor marijuana cultivation at this location. Investigators seized and destroyed 1,234 marijuana plants from this location. These plants pushed the total amount of marijuana plants seized over one million, by the 34th week of Operation Hammer Strike.

Over the past 34 weeks, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s personnel have served 868 search warrants, located and arrested 890 suspects. Investigators seized 1,001,830 marijuana plants, 128,094 pounds of processed marijuana, 267 guns, 60,108 grams of concentrated marijuana, 165 grams of methamphetamine, 44,400 grams of Psilocybin mushrooms, and over $2,940,553.00 in cash. Investigators eradicated a total of 5,165 greenhouses found at these locations. Investigators mitigated 38 electrical bypass and 21 THC extraction labs, and recovered eight stolen vehicles.

The investigations revealed the cannabis cultivations were not in compliance with California’s Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) and San Bernardino County’s ordinance prohibiting Commercial Cannabis Activity. San Bernardino County has a law prohibiting Commercial Cannabis Activity, including growing marijuana plants outdoors.

The Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division will continue to enforce California’s cannabis laws and San Bernardino County’s ordinance regarding cannabis cultivation and distribution. Persons found guilty of violating the state law and county ordinance are subject to fines, prosecution, and seizure of property.

Property owners who are growing marijuana or are aware their tenants are growing marijuana on their properties in violation of the state law and local ordinances may also be subject to civil or criminal sanctions. Property owners are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement or code compliance agency to confirm if cultivating cannabis is prohibited or allowed under specific regulations.

The suspect was cited or booked on charges of Cultivation of Cannabis, over six plants, Possession for Sales of Marijuana.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909)387-8400 or NARC-MET@sbcsd.org. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463), or you may leave the information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.

Refer: Sheriff’s Public Affairs

Station: Gangs/Narcotics Division

Phone No. (909) 387-3700

Case No. 652200493

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Sheriff's Public Affairs

Station: Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station

Phone No. 760-366-4175

By Sheriff's Public Affairs

Sheriff's Public Affairs Station: Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station Phone No. 760-366-4175

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