Huge illegal marijuana bust in Riverside, CA

Huge illegal marijuana bust in Riverside, CA

RIVERSIDE, CA — Fifteen people were arrested this week in connection with illegal marijuana grows across Southwest Riverside County, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department reported.

The first publicly announced raid by deputies this week took place Tuesday at a home in the 36000 block of Trail Ride Lane, Wildomar. After serving a search warrant, deputies discovered the house had been turned into a marijuana cultivation site, according to the sheriff’s department.

“The electrical system within the residence had been illegally altered causing a severe fire hazard. Southern California Edison Company responded to the residence and turned the power off due to the illegal wiring throughout the residence,” the sheriff’s department announced.

More than $3,000 in cash was found, along with approximately 1,300 marijuana plants, and over 140 pounds of processed marijuana, the department reported.

Zhijian Tang, 38, of Hacienda Heights, Xiquan Xu, 57, of Riverside, Wai Yun, 60, of Wildomar, Huiling Ren, 56, of Wildomar, and Sei Yum, 55, of Wildomar were arrested and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center without incident on suspicion of illegal marijuana cultivation, according to the sheriff’s department.

On Wednesday, multiple agencies worked together to serve search warrants at 10 marijuana cultivation sites in Anza, where approximately 9,970 marijuana plants and 298 pounds of processed weed were found, for a total combined weight of approximately two tons, the sheriff’s department reported.

Investigators also found two rifles, two handguns, approximately $1,500 in cash, and several containers of banned toxic pesticides, including carbofuran.

In connection with the raids, the following arrests were announced on suspicion of illegal marijuana cultivation:

  • 39-year-old Anza resident Frederic Thongsythavong
  • 57-year-old El Monte resident Yumei Zhu
  • 43-year-old Anza resident Savon Sam Ouk
  • 47-year-old Lowell, Massachusetts resident Ravy Ray Ton
  • 56-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada resident Ouch Mom Chuon
  • 65-year-old Stockton resident Soeng Lim (Charges filed out of custody)
  • 64-year-old Anza resident Ronnie Lynn Bell (Charges filed out of custody)
  • 89-year-old Anza resident Thomas Toombs (Charges filed out of custody)
  • 51-year-old Anza resident Jimmy Boon Souksavath
  • 68-year-old Redding resident Thong Dam Philakham
  • Also on Wednesday, the sheriff’s department served a search warrant in the 45000 block of Thalia Lane after being tipped by community members about a possible illegal cannabis operation inside a residence.

During the search, deputies found more than 1,300 marijuana plants and an illegally rigged electrical system, according to the sheriff’s department.

Southern California Edison shut off power to the home, and Lake Elsinore Code Enforcement deemed the house uninhabitable.

No arrests were announced.

The busts are just the recent in a string of raids around Southwest Riverside County.