Authorities in San Bernardino have arrested a man they have described as a transient from central California after he was discovered tending to 2,300 illegal marijuana plants.
Camilo Farias-Rodrigues, 33, was hired to tend the plants on the property of the 8000 block of Sunnyside Avenue when deputies responding to a call for service noticed the plants, according to an LA Times report.
“Some plants were 9’-10’ tall and could be seen over a 6-7-foot-tall fence,” said Cynthia Bachman, public information officer for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies on the scene called in the Sheriff’s Central Station and investigators from the Sheriff’s Marijuana Enforcement Team, who served the search warrant. Farias-Rodrigues was arrested without resistance after he was discovered tending the cannabis plants in different stages of growth.
“The suspect arrested at the scene appeared to have limited experience growing marijuana,” said Bachman. “The owners of the marijuana plants are rarely found at these types of grows. They are aware of the risk that law enforcement could arrive and arrest them.”
The identity of the farm’s owner is still unknown, according to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, and Farias-Rodrigues was booked on suspicion of illegal cultivation of marijuana is being held on a $25,000 bond.
Even though he is not the owner of the grow operation, deputies believe he was in violation of California’s medical marijuana laws that prohibit growing marijuana outdoors in unincorporated areas of the county.
California’s state laws are very clear about the doctor’s recommendations needed in order to become a medical marijuana patient or caregiver and are even stricter to those wishing to cultivate commercial medical marijuana. Statutes prohibit individuals from cultivating or distributing marijuana for profit and an owner of medical marijuana grow must obtain the proper permits, licenses, and approvals pursuant of state and local laws.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office will determine if any charges will be filed against Farias-Rodriguez.