TEMECULA (CNS) – An indoor marijuana grow where hundreds of plants were being cultivated was seized today in Temecula, and the two alleged operators were arrested.
Songlian Pan, 62, and Liping Li, 56, were each arrested on suspicion of illegal cultivation of cannabis, possession of marijuana for sale and theft of utilities. They were booked into the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta. Bail information was not immediately available.
According to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, members of the Cannabis Regulation Task Force were alerted to the alleged indoor grow in recent weeks and obtained a search warrant to enter the leased two-story house in the 45000 block of Camino Rubi.
They served the warrant about 10 a.m. and found 743 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, the D.A.’s office said.
Electrical circuits inside the property had also been altered to permit the theft of roughly $11,000 in electricity to operate the grow, prosecutors alleged.
Li and Pan were taken into custody without incident.
Investigators believe that the grow had been in operation since last October.
“The purpose of the Cannabis Regulation Task Force is to protect properly licensed legal cannabis businesses and enforce regulatory requirements which protect the environment and consumers,” according to the D.A.’s office.
“The aim of the task force is not to shut down legally operating facilities, but rather to ensure fair business practices and keep criminal activity out of the legal cannabis industry and out of our communities.”
The task force, whose members include deputies, prosecutors, probation agents and officers from several municipal law enforcement agencies, has been conducting raids on a regular basis since the fall of 2018, mainly targeting illegal storefront marijuana dispensaries.
The county has a comprehensive regulatory system in place to license cultivation sites and outlets in unincorporated communities, but to date, only one permit has been granted — in Highgrove.
Cities have their own regulations.