Culminating a yearlong investigation into an alleged large scale marijuana trafficking operation that spanned Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Unit came up with a big one.
Listing the marijuana and property seized at the seven separate locations in Santa Barbara and Ventura gives an idea of the magnitude of the now shut-down operation: Authorities took more than 900 actively growing plants (some of which were reported to have yielded up to four pounds of weed), more than 300 pounds of processed/bagged marijuana for sales, more than 50 pounds of hash, 28 five-pound containers of hash oil as well as a hash oil lab worth several million dollars, more than $125,000 in cash, a 2010 Porsche, and nine motorcycles.
The nine suspects—Erik Bjorklund (55), Rachel Ziemer (24), Jeffrey Vines (62), Christopher Hawkins (59), Kelsey O’Reilly (33), Davied Ziemer (53), Kevin Howe (40), Alina Stillwell (24), and Ryan Brown (27)—were arrested on various trafficking and conspiracy charges.
Bjorklund, the primary suspect, was arrested at a San Marcos property and is booked on $2 million bail. He is being held for 35 counts of money laundering, sales and transportation of marijuana, child endangerment (several pounds of processed marijuana were purportedly located in a child’s room at his residence), and violating health and safety codes in his hash conversion lab.
Vines, a business associate of Bjorklund, was arrested at his residence and booked on a felony parole violation and possession of child pornography.
Kelsey O’Reilly was also charged with 15 counts of money laundering.