194 Acres of Marijuana Found in Merced County

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A search of a property in Merced County led to the discovery of the largest marijuana grow that has ever been found in the Central Valley, deputies say. The grow was found in the area of Hutchins Road and Palm Avenue in Dos Palos. According to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office, on August 20, Sergeant Raymond Framstad received information from an anonymous source regarding the cultivation of “hemp” at the dead end of Pal Avenue in Dos Palos.

“It’s not the person growing it if they’re within the boundaries of the law. It’s what’s going to be brought in from the outside. It’s the guys with the guns, it’s the cartels. It’s everything that’s about the marijuana sales.” said Sheriff Warnke.

The Investigation

“According to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office, on August 20, Sergeant Raymond Framstad received information from an anonymous source regarding the cultivation of “hemp” at the dead end of Pal Avenue in Dos Palos.”

Sergeant Framstad was familiar with the property and had talked with the property’s owner, Chad Crivelli, several months earlier. Crivelli contacted the Merced County Sheriff, Sergeant Framstad and the Merced Farm Board about his intention of planting “hemp”.

While Sergeant Framstad was surveying the area, he ran into a man who said he had been hired by Crivelli to irrigate two “hemp” fields. Sergeant Framstad told the employee that growing “hemp” is illegal and offered him the chance to destroy the plants to prevent further investigation, court documents state.

THC Content of the 194 Acres of Marijuana

Investigators then collected samples of the marijuana plants to determine the THC concentration. 3 per cent THC classifies it as a hemp plant, anything above that would make it a marijuana plant.

“On October 5, the DEA Western Regional Laboratory confirmed that samples collected from Crivelli’s property tested positive for marijuana.”

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