Deputies seize 2,200 marijuana plants, arrest man in Sage raid

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SAGE (CNS) – A Riverside County sheriff’s raid Friday in Sage, east of Temecula, resulted in the seizure of more than 2,000 marijuana plants and hundreds of pounds of packaged product, as well as the confiscation of five firearms, including two banned semiautomatic rifles.

Deputies served search warrants at three connected properties in the 34000 block East Benton Road, near Willow Creek Road, according to sheriff’s Sgt. James Burton.

Burton said county code enforcement officers and California Fish & Wildlife agents joined the operation, which netted 2,253 cannabis plants in various stages of growth, along with 619 pounds of processed weed.

Gabriel Luna, 48, was identified as the alleged overseer of the properties, and was arrested at his on-site single-wide trailer on suspicion of illegal cultivation of marijuana, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and being a felon in possession of a sawed-off shotgun, according to Burton.

Burton alleged that in addition to the shotgun, a semiautomatic handgun and three sport rifles – two of which are classified under state law as assault weapons – were seized at or near Luna’s trailer.

The grow location had been under investigation ever since a deputy heard gunshots, possibly directed at him, while on a call for service in recent weeks, Burton said.