Thursday, 01 December 2022

DEA assists local task force in marijuana seizures, arrests

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Some of the materials found by agents inside the Lower Lake residence. Courtesy photo.



LOWER LAKE – Local law enforcement officials, aided by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), seized thousands of dollars of marijuana at a Lower Lake residence on Tuesday and arrested a man wanted on a federal warrant in Texas.


A report from Commander Richard Russell of the Lake County Narcotic Task Force said that the task force, DEA, Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, Lake County Sheriff's deputies and Lake County Probation officers went to the residence, located at 18331 Ponderosa Trail Road, at 9 a.m. Tuesday to attempt an open-field marijuana crop eradication.


As the agents approached the property they observed two vehicles leaving a residence on that property, Russell reported.


Agents contacted and detained four subjects. Two of them – Jack Stamper, 61, and Richard Bonnet, 50 – were determined to reside on the property and were in the process of cultivating and harvesting 927 marijuana plants, according to Russell.


Stamper and Bonnet were arrested for cultivation, possession for sale and transportation of marijuana, said Russell. Further investigation revealed that Jack Stamper was actually Larry Monk who was wanted on a federal warrant by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for weapons violations in Texas. Bonnet was found to be wanted on a no-bail warrant in Napa County for domestic violence.


Russell said agents obtained a search warrant for the residence, where they found approximately 40 pounds of processed marijuana bud in a safe along with $2,000 cash. Also seized inside the residence was a small amount of concentrated cannabis – “hash” – and $1,109 in cash.


Agents then searched the barn on the property, Russell reported, which revealed approximately 20 more pounds of processed marijuana.


CAMP officers subsequently eradicated 927 marijuana plants from the property, said Russell.


Additionally, agents found in the vehicle that Monk was driving approximately 3.5 pounds of marijuana that was heat-sealed and packaged for shipment via US mail.


Monk and Bonnet were transported to the Lake County Jail where they remain in custody pending local charges as well as the preexisting arrest warrant charges from other jurisdictions.


“It is becoming more prevalent every year for criminals from other areas of the state and country to move to Lake County to grow marijuana,” said Russell. “As this practice spreads, Lake County will see more violence associated with criminals using the state marijuana initiatives to commercially grow and sell large amounts of marijuana.”

 

 

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Officers eradicated 927 marijuana plants. Courtesy photo.

 

 

 

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Thousands of dollars in cash also were seized. Courtesy photo.

 

 

 

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A view of the property, located on Ponderosa Trail Road. Courtesy photo.

 

 

 

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