PALM DESERT: Chinese national arrested for illegal marijuana grow, utilities theft

PALM DESERT — Authorities arrested a Chinese national living in Palm Desert and confiscated about 1,100 marijuana plants after serving a search warrant, Wednesday, Oct. 25. The warrant, which was part of an illegal marijuana cultivation and theft of utilities investigation, was served at a private residence on the 100 block of Azzuro Drive in Palm Desert.

Central Valley Narcotics Task Force members arrested Chen Yang for cultivation of marijuana and theft of utilities, Oct. 25. RSO booking photo

After an investigation and the service of the search warrant, officials arrested 19-year-old, Chen Long Yang, Coachella Valley Narcotics Task Force Sgt. Brad Farwell explained after the arrest.

After he was arrested, Yang was booked into the Riverside County Jail in Indio on suspicion of theft of utilities, a felony, and cultivation of marijuana, a misdemeanor.

Deputies and officers assigned to the task force, with assistance from the Palm Desert Special Enforcement Team, served the search warrant about 12:15 p.m., according to officials.

During the warrant service authorities located and seized about 1,100 marijuana plants that officials allege were part of an illegal indoor marijuana grow.

While task force members and police officials served the warrant, they discovered Yang “had illegally bypassed the power resulting in approximately $25,000 worth of electricity having been stolen,” said Farwell.

Palm Desert Code Enforcement officials and Southern California Edison personnel responded to the location “due to the illegal setup and existing hazards,” Farwell explained.

An online jail records search revealed Yang remains in custody, held on $25,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, Oct. 27.

Because the investigation is active and ongoing, officials did not release any further information.

During the service of the search warrant, Central Valley Narcotic Task Force members located an illegal indoor marijuana grow.

Anyone with additional information about this case is encouraged to contact CVNTF Deputy LaFond at (760) 323-8662. Callers can refer to incident file number CV172980001 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.


Contact the writer:

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Trevor Montgomery, who recently moved from Riverside County to Shasta County, runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 grandchildren.

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