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The original item was published from 4/2/2020 9:32:25 PM to 6/3/2020 12:00:00 AM.

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Hemet Station

Posted on: April 2, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Marijuana Cultivation Search Warrants



Sheriff Chad Bianco

Press Release:Marijuana Cultivation Search Warrants
Station Area:Sage, Hemet and San Jacinto
Written Date:April 02, 2020Time:4:30 PM
Incident Date:April 02, 2020Time:6:00 AM
Incident Location:Sage, Hemet and San Jacinto
Reporting Officer:Sergeant James Burton
File Number(s):Numerous


On April 2, 2020, personnel from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and Riverside County Code Enforcement served five marijuana cultivation related search warrants in the unincorporated county areas of Hemet and Sage and the city of San Jacinto.  During the service, approximately 4,504 plants were eradicated and 163 pounds of processed marijuana was collected, for a total combined weight of approximately two tons.  Three firearms, (two rifles and one handgun), were collected for evidence.  Several containers of toxic pesticides that have been banned in the United States for endangering domestic animals and wildlife and are known hazards to the water table were located at one of the locations. 

The following suspects were arrested for Marijuana Cultivation, (charges will be filed with the District Attorney’s Office):

•    47-year-old Sage resident Richard Lee Nutter 

•    43-year-old Sage resident Top Metal Dragon 

•    59-year-old Sage resident Thongphet Kotlienthong 

•    42-year-old Sage resident Samphone Phonisay 

•    40-year-old Hemet resident Andres Guzman 

•    39-year-old Menifee resident Esteban Garcia-Garcia

•    43-year-old Menifee resident Sabdiel Garica-Garcia 

The goal of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is to keep all of our citizens safe while also improving the quality of life for those residing within the community.  Marijuana cultivation negatively impacts the environment in many ways including diminishing and poisoning the water table and pesticides adversely affecting the health of neighboring residents.  The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has a zero-tolerance policy for these offenses.  If you suspect drug activity in your area, please contact your local Sheriff’s Station.  The Hemet Sheriff’s Station can be reached at (951) 791-3400 and the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station can be reached at (951) 766-2400.  Criminal activity can also be reported through the We-Tip Crime Reporting Hotline, (909) 987-5005 or


The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is seeking applicants for Deputy Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff Trainee, Correctional Deputy, Sheriff’s 911 Communications Officer, and other employment opportunities such as clerical and support positions.  If you are interested in a career with us, please visit our recruiting page or call 1-888-Join-RSD

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