Summertime now, time for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department to be on the lookout for illegal marijuana grows in the mountains of the county.
Sheriff Kerry Lee said he has already received several reports of sightings they are investigating.
“We’re just getting into the growing season, so we do expect there will be more out there, usually July and August are the big months.”
On April 1, 2015, a remote growing site was found in rugged terrain area east of Mt. Wilson. Teodoro Avalos-Linares, 35, of Menifee, Calif. was arrested at the scene by sheriff’s deputies, along with a member of the Eastern Nevada Narcotics Task Force from Ely, who happened to be in Pioche at the time working on an unrelated case and asked to assist.
“Apparently there was a group of them planning for a long stay,” Lee said, “because officers also found abundant amounts of canned foods, potatoes, cook stoves, dish soap, sleeping bags, backpacks, batteries, all kinds of stuff.”
The District Attorney’s office in Pioche said Avalos-Linares waived a preliminary hearing at the time, and will go to District Court July 24 in Pioche. He was originally charged with possession of a controlled substance. He is currently out on bail.
The Mt. Wilson area was an unusual site. All the other large grows that have been discovered in the past five years have been in the mountains south of Caliente.
Sheriff Lee said the discovery on Mt. Wilson appeared to have been a grow from a previous time, and it appeared Linares, and other men believed to be with him, but not apprehended, were hoping to redevelop and expand the area. “It was really big,” he said, “and they had hidden their stuff out away from the vehicle. What was found at the time was a few thousand feet of black plastic pipe, ground cultivating tools, large black tarps, fertilizer, Miracle Grow, sprayers and several thousand marijuana seeds.”
Lee said he is assuming there are going to be grows in some parts of Lincoln County, “just because other areas of the state are already finding some. We assume there will be some, plan for that, and hope there is not.”
Hikers, bikers, and other recreationalists in the mountains are asked to be vigilant, “and if you come across something that looks like suspicious activity, foot trails where normally foot traffic would not be, a vehicle parked in odd areas for extended periods of time, report that to local authorities, but don’t go in there yourself,” Lee said.