A pot dispensary run by a Temecula man was shut down last week, before federal agents swarmed a number of storefronts in the same industrial park, confiscating more than 2,500 plants in less than one week.
Kevin Freeman, 38, of Temecula, director of the Disabled American Veteran's Collective, was taken into custody Jan. 18, when his shop at 38372 Innovation Court was shut down and 1,827 plants were seized from suites 102-107.
Freeman's residence in the 33200 block of Kabian Court in Temecula was also raided by federal agents, with assistance by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
He was booked into the county jail on suspicion of possession, sale or transfer of marijuana and manufacturing a controlled substance of more than 10 pounds or 20 gallons.
He was released from the county jail Jan. 20, on no bail, and no state court date has been set, sheriff's inmate records indicate.
Another man, Dennis Earl Zuniga, 32, was arrested and booked into the county jail on suspicion of possession, sale or transfer of marijuana.
He was released on $20,000 bail and ordered back to court March 14.
Before the Jan. 18 raid, an undercover Riverside County sheriff's investigator, who had obtained a medical marijuana card, visited DAVC in December and twice bought pot, according to court records.
On Monday and Tuesday, agents served warrants at various suites at the same complex, seizing hundreds more plants, authorities said.
Agents in all cases had warrants to search for and confiscate controlled substances, electronic devices, records and cash, according to documents provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The warrant did not tie the other two operations to DAVC, but did state that the security cameras and PVC pipe used in the DAVC facility were the same as those in the second row of suites searched.
Agents said they became alerted to the third row when they saw lights shining through the roll-up doors late at night as they searched the adjacent suites. They also stated they heard sounds made by fans used to cool plants under heat lamps, court records show.
Electricity use was also a factor in determining the location of the operations. DEA agents requested and were granted access to electricity bills, which indicated expenditures of as much as $1,200 for the month of December, according to court records.
Bills for the suites raided Tuesday were filed under the name of Jonathan Cringan, according to the warrant, who was among four arrested in connection with Monday's raid at the complex, court records indicate.
Cringan was booked into the Southwest Detention Center on suspicion of cultivating marijuana and possession, sale or transfer of marijuana.
He remained behind bars in lieu of $50,000, pending a court appearance today at the Southwest Justice Center in French Valley.