Compliance check uncovers an alleged commercial pot operation |

Compliance check uncovers an alleged commercial pot operation

by Liz Kellar
Staff Writer

Nevada County Sheriff's deputies conducting a compliance check for the county's new medical marijuana cultivation ordinance allegedly uncovered a substantial commercial operation on Dog Bar Road Thursday morning.

The deputies were following up on a complaint that there was a large grow near a school bus stop close to Taylor Crossing Road, said Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kress.

When they arrived at the residence in the 18000 block, approximately a dozen subjects fled into the house, out the back door, around the house and then back inside, Kress said.

"We did not chase them," he said. "They were finally corralled in the back."

A large trimming operation was clearly visible inside a garage with its doors standing open, Kress said.

Deputies "locked down" the site and obtained a search warrant, said Lt. Steve Tripp.

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They returned and searched the property, allegedly finding 37 marijuana plants in the ground — four 6-footers in planters, some "babies" in a small greenhouse and 30 more mature plants hidden up a steep hillside.

Inside the garage were a number of cut marijuana stems hanging from coat hangers, as well as floodlights, fans and folding tables with trimming shears. A large bong and a giant energy drink were stashed on one of the tables.

Deputies recovered six large totes worth of unprocessed cola on the stem with an estimated weight of 20 pounds per tote, said Sgt. Guy Selleck. There were 8 pounds of processed cola in the house, as well as more cola recovered from the garage that had been placed in six large paper bags. A full count of the seized marijuana was not available as of press time, although Kress estimated there had been about 70 plants total.

As deputies continued to search, they allegedly also discovered approximately $25,000 in cash, five pounds of hash, a shotgun and ammunition at the residence.

The alleged trimmers were mostly from Peru, Kress said, although there were also people on the scene from Italy and Sweden — and Idaho. They will not face any charges, he added.

The tenant of the residence, Mateo Meadowcroft, 24, told deputies he is a self-employed landscaper, Selleck said, adding the only landscaping equipment at the residence was a broken lawnmower.

"There was only one recommendation for medical marijuana," Selleck said.

Meadowcroft was arrested on suspicion of unlawful cultivation of marijuana and was being held in county jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call (530) 477-4229.

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