Two Men Arrested During Raid On Marijuana Grow

Mexican Nationals Held On Immigration Holds

Friday, September 20, 2013
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Santa Barbara, state, and federal authorities arrested two men Friday during a raid on an illegal marijuana grow in the Los Padres National Forest, next to Happy Canyon Road. Taken into custody were 27-year-old Joel Santoyo Lopez and 37-year-old Cipriano Arreola Torres. Both are Mexican nationals who entered the country illegally, said Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover, and they’re being held in County Jail on immigration holds.

Two weeks ago, Hoover explained, a hunter contacted law enforcement about a possible marijuana grow ¾ of a mile from the Happy Canyon Shooting Range. After detectives confirmed the tip, the raid was carried out at 6 a.m. this morning. As officials descend on the scene, a suspect was observed fleeing on foot. He got away, but detectives discovered a loaded Ruger rifle the suspect had set down when he saw authorities approaching, said Hoover. A Remington 30-06 semi-automatic rifle was also found nearby.

Lopez and Torres were tracked down soon after. Detectives also seized around 100 pounds of processed and packaged weed — worth around $250,000 — that was ready for pick-up, said Hoover. At one point, the grow had around 1,600 plants, she explained.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

I think they were hunting and were framed, where is Palabra?

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
September 20, 2013 at 7:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Growing any cash crop in the national forest is not only illegal but totally reprehensible, whatever one's point of view is about mj. This might be a good time to shut down the ugly and messy shooting area there off Happy Canyon since amid all the shooters [they often have small trucks] the real growers -- not the 2 guys apprehended -- blended in, along with their weapons. The stuff had to be driven out, and Happy Cyn Rd is the only route. My concern is that for many of us who hike in the area there is some chance of getting shot by one of the illegals with their Ruger or Remington. One often sees children with the legal shooters at the range, and they can wander around...the grow was only 3/4 mile away! Good photos.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
September 21, 2013 at 5:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

legalize, put Americans to work, lower cost so profit for cartels is no longer profitable, less chemical weed in patients hands, win win win. What power fears is weed money involved in politics.

spacey (anonymous profile)
September 21, 2013 at 2:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

true, spacey, but power doesn't seem to mind casino money in politics: look how Das and Salud have caved on Camp 4. Many of us will remember come election time.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
September 21, 2013 at 2:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

After legalization, supply would quickly outpace demand, price would drop dramatically to the point that it would no longer be economically feasible to grow it illegally when, like alcohol, they could go to the store and get some for next to nothing. you don't see bootleggers with Stills out there in the national forest making booze anymore. they have stores right in town that sell high grade Spirits... Oh, I forgot, the city would need less police, court and jail staff to deal with a now non problem.

GluteousMaximus (anonymous profile)
September 22, 2013 at 8:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Our Family uses the shooting range- and thank you very much- saying it should be closed because families use it....well instead of sitting around smoking dope my family is doing a family activity OF OUR CHOICE.

Because our back country is being exploited by illegal aliens (cross eyed ones at that)- do not try and take our enjoyment away.

I have never ever been at a shooting range where children are present- and the children were allowed to roam within the shooting zone. PLEASE Dr Dan, be more responsible with your words.

losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
September 23, 2013 at 8:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

yes losolivos I respect your point of view; I really have seen plenty of kids there and I go by often.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
September 23, 2013 at 1 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Using a firearm responsibly is a safe and sane way to enjoy an afternoon. Gun Safety is first and foremost with our family and those we chose to shoot with. In fact, every gun owner I know, practices safety first-any other choice is the surefire way to get your ability to operate a firearm taken away.

Thank you for responding DrDan.

losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
September 23, 2013 at 1:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So just what is a Mexican National? It sounds so...professional.

ramoncramon (anonymous profile)
September 23, 2013 at 3:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's sort of like a cattle tag, ramoncramon, these guys left the farm owned by the wealthy elite bankers known as Mexico without permission and found themselves on the "wrong" farm owned by the very same elite bankers known as the USA. If too many people cross these invisible lines without permission too often, they may begin to have some sort of philisophical breakdown and find out that they don't 'belong' to any particular power structure at all.

Now I may be an even bigger supporter of the 2nd amendment than losolivoslocal here, so I'm sort of curious if they support my right to a safe, and sane way to enjoy an afternoon by toking some herb and enjoying my preferred outdoor activities.

When the government makes a mistake, like making laws against growing and consuming cannabis which leads to people growing it in the forest, the best way to correct the mistake is to legalize the substance and not making more restrictive laws.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
September 23, 2013 at 4:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

loonpt- I have zero issue with anyone smoking herb- though maybe not while operating a firearm.

I also believe it should be legalized, if only to keep folks from illegally growing and polluting the National Forests.

I agree it would be a corrective measure to legalize it.

losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
September 23, 2013 at 10:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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