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The original item was published from 11/13/2019 2:25:08 PM to 11/13/2019 2:33:12 PM.

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Palm Desert Station

Posted on: November 13, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Marijuana Eradication



Sheriff Chad Bianco

Press Release: Marijuana Eradication
Station Area:Palm Desert
Written Date:10/22/19Time:1:00 PM

10/22/19Time:1:00 PM
Incident Location:Various Locations within the Mountain Center Community 
Reporting Officer:Sergeant Frank Schiavone  
File Number(s):O192950002, O192950003, O192950004


The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has been aggressively targeting illegal marijuana grows throughout the county in 2019.  On October 22, 2019, at 7:00 AM, members from the Palm Desert Station, with the assistance of Coachella Valley Narcotics Taskforce and Majors Narcotics Task Force - East, and deputies from the Hemet Sheriff’s Station served three residential search warrants within Mountain Center Community. The investigations began due to community concerns and complaints of illegal marijuana cultivation.

Deputies recovered over 1,500 lbs. of harvested marijuana, two stolen ATVs, ammunition, $2,000.00 in cash and 1,294 plants from an active grow site. The estimated street value of the marijuana exceeds $500,000.00.

Deputies arrested Christopher Gerats, 31 of Mountain Center for 11358 H&S - Illegal Cultivation of Marijuana and Kevin Valenzuela, 24 of Mountain Center for 11358H&S and 1203.2(a)(1) - Violation of Formal Probation. Gerats and Valenzuela were both transported and booked at the County Jail in Indio. Files #O192950002 #O192950003 #O192950004 (JS).

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 Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station can be reached at (760) 836-1600.

Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff's CrimeTips online form.

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 apply at or call 1-888-Join-RSD

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