OJAI (CBSLA.com) — A Los Angeles man who had previously been arrested and deported for the cultivation of marijuana was in police custody Thursday.
Ricardo Juarez Valencia, 36, was arrested on June 7 near his home after Ventura County Narcotics Detectives completed a 3-month investigation into suspicious activity at several locations along Highway 33 north of the city of Ojai.
In February 2013, investigators identified three large cultivation sites near Highway 33 near the Chorro Grande Trail, near Belly Ache Falls, and an unnamed canyon north of Matilija Canyon Road.
Detectives said they knew Valencia from his arrest, and subsequent conviction, for cultivation of marijuana in 2012 near Rose Valley. After serving his sentence, Valencia was deported to his native country.
On June 4 and June 6, Sheriff’s personnel eradicated the three grow sites and seized 6,229 marijuana plants.
On June 7, Valencia was arrested for the cultivation of marijuana. During a search of his residence, detectives discovered 2 firearms, over $5,000 in cash, approximately 1 pound of processed marijuana, and items typically related to marijuana cultivation; flexible irrigation tubing, camouflaged propane cylinders, seedling cups, and animal repellants.
Valencia was transported to the Sheriff’s Main Jail in Ventura and booked for the cultivation of marijuana, a violation of probation warrant stemming from the 2012 arrest, and possession of fictitious identification paperwork.
His bail was set at $500,000.