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One arrested, thousands of marijuana plants seized on San Juan Ridge

Narcotics detectives descended on a marijuana grow on the San Juan Ridge Wednesday, seizing thousands of plants and hundreds of pounds of harvested marijuana.

One man was cited and another, a Bulgarian national with Las Vegas ties, was arrested on cultivation and weapons charges.

Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant for illegal cultivation on four adjoining parcels in the 16000 block of Grizzly Hill Road that are owned by the same person, said Sheriff’s Lt. Rob Bringolf.

Deputies seized a total of 2,240 plants, as well as 100 pounds of marijuana cola, or buds, and 400 pounds of marijuana still on the stem, Bringolf said.

One person was cited on suspicion of illegal cultivation of marijuana.

Martin Radoslavov Atanasov, 48, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a large-capacity ammunition magazine, as well as illegal cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale, Bringolf said. He was booked on the weapons charge and released on $2,500 bail, according to jail records.

Atanasov reportedly is from Bulgaria and in the country illegally, and came to Nevada County from Las Vegas. Jail records show he listed his occupation as casino dealer.

Bringolf noted the properties, which are next to the San Juan Ridge Mine but are owned by a man in the Bay Area, were the location of an earlier bust. The marijuana grows remain under investigation, he said.

At the end of May, deputies arrested Albert Edmundo Rojas, 22, after following a tip about the grow in the 16000 block of Grizzly Hill Road. Officers saw two men flee on an ATV and then on foot as they approached the area. A third man escaped into some bushes, while Rojas was stopped as he tried to leave in a vehicle. Deputies reportedly found 837 marijuana plants in four large greenhouses.

Rojas pleaded no contest to misdemeanor cultivation of marijuana in August.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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