Millions of dollars worth of marijuana have been seized in north Bakersfield as part of an investigation into clandestine indoor cultivation operations, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office announced in a news release on Thursday.
Four people were arrested as part of the investigation, which involved KCSO’s Narcotics Investigation Unit, the California Multi-Jurisdictional Methamphetamine Enforcement Team Task Force, the Kern County Probation Department and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Law enforcement says 10,803 “high grade indoor marijuana plants” worth a street value of around $16.9 million were confiscated from two locations in metro Bakersfield.
At the 6900 block of Mandy Lane, the news release said 438 marijuana plants were found, leading to the arrest of one man and two women. Maksim Shabarchin, 31, of Russia, Galina Tishkovets, 38, of North Hollywood, and Yadviga Krasonskaya, 27, of Los Angeles, were arrested and booked into the Central Receiving Facility on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for the purpose of sales, illegal discharge of water from an illegal marijuana grow operation, maintaining a residence for drug sales and conspiracy to commit a crime, according to KCSO.
At the 3600 block of Verlan Court, 10,365 marijuana plants were found, according to the release. Daniel Ruiz, 35, of Bakersfield, was arrested and booked on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for the purpose of sales, and for maintaining a business for drug sales, the release stated.
Kern County compliance officials subsequently found both buildings, a residence and an industrial building, to be in violation of numerous building codes and have been deemed unfit for occupancy.