One traffic stop led the Carson City Sheriff’s Office to nearly 50 pounds of marijuana early Monday morning.
Deputies with the Special Enforcement Team initiated a traffic stop Monday morning just after midnight for a vehicle that rolled through a stoplight near Parkland Avenue and Denise Circle. Upon stopping the vehicle, deputies conducted a K9 sniff and located 6.8 pounds of marijuana hidden in duffle bags and backpacks along with $3,600 in cash.
The driver, Joel Rodriguez, 23, of Carson City was arrested by deputies.
They later obtained a search warrant for Rodriguez’s residence near the 800 block of Roop Street. During the investigation, inside the residence deputies allegedly discovered a fraudulent medical marijuana business with a grow lab, hundreds of baggies, fraudulent medical marijuana stickers, several strains of marijuana and more.
Inside, they also located 40 additional pounds of marijuana, 20 grams of cocaine, 11 tablets of ecstacy, a glock handgun, an AK-47 pistol with a 50 round drum, 700 additional rounds and $20,000 in cash.
Officials with the operation said the residence posed significant risk to the surrounding residences due to the butane tanks located at the apartment. Deputies said the residence backs up to a playground as well.
“The explosion from just one of those tanks can blow the windows out of a 1,400 square foot house, and we found two tanks in that apartment,” said SET Sgt. Daniel Gonzales. “It is problematic because there are a number of residences in extremely close proximity to each other on that property… and the back door is about 29 feet from a playground.”
At the residence, deputies also arrested Ruben Pacheco, 30, of Carson City.
“It is the perfect example of SET and their flexibility to target known criminals in Carson City,” said Capt. Brian Humphrey. “I am proud of these guys and their effectiveness.”
For the Sheriff’s Office, this case is more than just a substantial bust.
“The significance of this operation is this an example of what many people expected as other states legalized recreational use marijuana, the flood of black market sales,” said Sheriff Ken Furlong.
Furlong said they’re seeing the impact more and more with the danger these actions have on youths in the are.
“We have seen recent homicides in Carson and Dayton with the black market sales, it among the most deadly acts and we see it often involving youths,” Furlong said. “This has nothing to do with the state regulations concerns with taxable sales. It is pure and simple the black market attempts for monetary gains.”
The two suspects are being held on a number of drug charges; both were arrested on suspicion of felony trafficking of a controlled substance, felony sales of a controlled substance in 500 feet of a park, felony possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, felony conspiracy to violate the uniform controlled substances act, felony maintaining a drug house, felony manufacturing marijuana by chemical extraction and felony possession of marijuana with intent to sell.
Bail for both was set at $127,500.
By: Taylor Pettaway, Nevada Appeal