Authorities bust "large-scale" drug ring in Cohasset

Aug 18, 2015 6:16 PM by News Staff

Butte County authorities have busted a “large-scale” drug trafficking ring that was operating in Cohasset.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office Special Enforcement Unit says they have been investigating the drug organization for several weeks, during which they arrested three Mexican nationals, raided several pot farms, a Cohasset home, and a Chico storage unit.

The raids began late last month when agents swarmed a property on Musty Buck Road, and found Armando Gonzales and Alberto Vasques Santiago heavily armed and watching over 2100 pot plants. Both men were taken into custody.

On August 12 authorities raided a 160 acre parcel off of Ponderosa Way, where they seized guns, marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine, but were unable to detain a Hispanic male spotted fleeing the area.

Additional evidence seized from the Ponderosa Way grow led authorities to a home on the 3000 block of Allison Meadow Road, where they found 19 firearms, four of which were assault weapons, and several hundred rounds of ammunition. Authorities found a direct connection to the Musty Buck Road and Ponderosa Way properties, and took Bernabe Lopez Sr. into custody.

The same day agents were searching the Allison Meadow Road home, a search warrant was served at a storage unit in Chico, where agents found a butane honey oil lab, and a case with 96 full cans of butane.

On Monday the investigation took authorities back to Ponderosa Way, a second grow containing 49 pot plants was found. No growers, or livable structures were found, leading authorities to believe the men working the 160 acre grow off of Ponderosa Way also tended to this smaller operation.

All three suspects have been booked into the Butte County Jail and face numerous charges related to the cultivation of marijuana and illegal possession of firearms, among others.


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