Nevada City, CA – The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) has been proactively investigating suspected illegal cannabis grows in Nevada County. Over the span of one week, over seven properties were searched with authorized search warrants and all seven were found to be operating illegal cannabis grows (H&S 11358(C), two of which involved environmental crimes. Collectively, over 10,000 plants and over 2,000 lbs. of processed cannabis were destroyed.

Ten individuals were subsequently arrested at two properties. Victor Karp, 52, was the first arrested on Oct. 5 in the 10,000 block of Morning Star Lane in Nevada City for illegal cultivation and related environmental crimes while the other nine arrests occurred on Oct. 11 in the 15,000 block of Niels Meade Drive in Grass Valley for illegal cultivation and related environmental crimes. The nine arrests included: Sonja Mek Chhit, 53; Savay Vuoung, 60; Sina Hak, 54; Saman Lim, 63; Hoeun Tek, 66; Jennifer Hart, 38; Thy Chhit, 41; Rodrigo Mejia Jimenez, 41; and Savonn Pek, 58.

“Illegal cannabis cultivation remains an ongoing problem that grows beyond the plants themselves,” said NCSO Detective Vincent Martinez, who headed the operations. “At some of these illegal grows, California Fish and Wildlife and the Nevada County Code Enforcement are identifying serious environmental crimes and general health hazards that often affect beyond the cultivated land, such as our natural waterways.”

The following agencies assisted in the execution of search warrants: the NCSO Special Investigations Unit, California Fish and Wildlife, Department of Cannabis Compliance, Nevada County Code Enforcement, Army National Guard, and the Eradication and Prevention of Illicit Cannabis (a multi-state and federal task force).

All cases remain under active investigation and may involve additional charges. All findings will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for formal charges to be filed.