The suspects’ initial troubles began this past Saturday when a California Highway Patrol officer tried to pull over a van on Interstate 580 in Castro Valley due to the driver speaking on a cellphone while driving.
During the routine stop, a car cut in front of the CHP vehicle to create a distraction so the van could get away, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s office which has supervision over the task force.
Both suspect vehicles tried to flee the scene but were stopped in the Castro Valley by the Californa Highway Patrol.
Once stopped officers discovered more than 200 pounds of marijuana in the sedan van and eight more pounds in the car.
After further investigation, it was discovered the men also had a surplus of sensimilla in a storage locker in Alameda county.
Task force members along and a sheriff’s office canine joined forces like Voltron to subsequently search the storage units. It was there they discovered the additional marijuana already in the process of being prepared for sale, along with a suitcase containing cash as well as sophisticated marijuana growing equipment.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said Monday that even though there are legalized uses of marijuana, the amount seized Saturday shows that it is a “lucrative business with a robust underground trade” that has inherent dangers like robberies, shootings and sometimes killings.
The two men, whose names have not been released, were formally arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale and the transporting of marijuana. It is unclear at this time if they have been formally charged with these offenses.
My name is Petey Wheatstraw, also known as Charles Stevens. I’m an avid marijuana smoker, writer, devoted father and non-profit minion– not necessarily in that order. A Chicago native I’ve lived off and on in the Bay Area since 1996. Seven years ago I finally settled here to capture the changing face of our communities.