Thursday, 02 February 2023

Narcotic Task Force makes arrest, seizes marijuana and meth

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Drugs, guns and other materials seized Oct. 10 from Thomas McGann's Lakeport home. Photo courtesy of Lake County Narcotic Task Force.


 


LAKEPORT – A Lakeport man was arrested last week after the Lake County Narcotic Task Force served a search warrant on his home and seized marijuana and methamphetamines.


A report from Task Force Commander Richard Russell said on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 10, agents from the Lake County Narcotic Task Force with assistance from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County Probation Department, Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation served a search warrant at 2603 Hartley Road, Lakeport.


Agents contacted Thomas J. McGann, age 43, and Nicole M. Rosales, age 32, at the residence.


Task force agents had been investigating McGann’s illegal marijuana grow operation for approximately one month, according to Russell's report.


McGann was growing approximately 40 marijuana plants in his yard, which is less than 1,000 feet from Clear Lake High School, Russell reported. As there were no outward signs of the marijuana grow operation being for medical purposes a search warrant was authored and signed by a Lake County Superior Court Judge.


During the service of the search warrant agents located another 122 marijuana plants growing indoors in a portion of the garage which had been converted for the sole purpose of clandestine marijuana cultivation and processing, according to Russell.


More than 120 pounds of processed marijuana was seized from the location along with 28 various types of firearms, including a loaded .44 magnum revolver that McGann maintained on the headboard of his bed, and more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition, Russell's report stated.


Agents located approximately 10 grams of methamphetamine along with items which tend to prove sales of the drug in McGann’s bedroom, according to Russell. All of the marijuana gardens and the property were maintained under electronic audio and visual surveillance from within the residence.


Russell also reported that Lake County Animal Control was requested to remove the two large dogs McGann had roaming the property to protect his “cash crop.”


McGann claimed the marijuana was for medical purposes but was unable to produce any valid marijuana recommendations but his own, according to Russell. Numerous other Proposition 215 marijuana recommendations were located but were beyond the legal expiration date of one year.


Agents seized all of the above listed items of evidence except for six mature marijuana plants and 8 ounces of processed marijuana, according to the report. These are the amounts allowed by law under Senate Bill 420 and 11362.77. of the California Health and Safety Code.


McGann was arrested for cultivation of marijuana, possession for sale of marijuana, committing a felony while in possession of a firearm, possession for sale of methamphetamine, cultivating marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of a dangerous weapon, being armed with a firearm while under the influence of a controlled substance and other related offenses, Russell's report explained. He was booked at the Lake County jail prior to being released on bail.


Nicole Rosales, who does not reside at the suspect's residence, was released without charges.


“It has become common practice within Lake County and the surrounding areas for individuals to grow large amounts of marijuana for sale attempting to use the legal protection of the medical marijuana initiatives,” Russell stated in the report. “This has created a major problem for law enforcement and our local communities who now have to deal with the threat of violence and associated crimes involved with the overwhelming marijuana cultivation and sales industry.”


Russell added, “Without legislative changes regarding the growing and sale of marijuana this issue will continue. Violence associated with this illegal activity will rise and our already strained law enforcement resources will be further depleted.”

 


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