MARIPOSA – On Monday, Sept. 16 at about 10:30 a.m., deputies and detectives from the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office served concurrent search and arrest warrants at two different residences located in Mariposa County for marijuana cultivation, marijuana sales and conspiracy crimes.
The warrants were the result of a lengthy investigation.
Three people were arrested at a Lakeview Road residence where a marijuana garden consisting of 106 mature plants was located. A fourth person is wanted in connection to that marijuana investigation.
One person was arrested at a Ponds Way residence where a 178-plant marijuana garden was located. Two other suspects are wanted in connection to that property.
In all, four adults were arrested during the investigation and three others have outstanding arrest warrants issued in their names for felony marijuana cultivation, sales and conspiracy.
“Law enforcement’s investigation showed that the seven people involved were conspiring to cultivate and sell marijuana,” says the Sheriff’s Office. “The marijuana plants were mature and estimated to produce more than two pounds bud product per plant.”
Bail has been set at $50,000 for each individual. All those arrested were transported and processed into the Mariposa County Adult Detention Facility.
Those arrested include:
Karen McKnelly, 57, from the Lakeview Road location.
Peter Wozny, 43, from the Lakeview Road location.
Stephen Capalbo, 26, from the Lakeview Road location.
Cory Ham, 33, from the Ponds Way location.
Also, a warrant has been issued for:
Nicole Hogan, 28, from Santa Cruz, Ca.
Michael Cutruzzola, 27, from Las Vegas, Nv.
Michael Capalbo, 23, from Las Vegas, Nv.
“This again is an example of people operating under the protection of California’s Medical Marijuana Compassionate Act, but doing so illegally with intentions of making profit,” says Sheriff Binnewies. “This criminal activity brings serious, violent crime, into our communities and neighborhoods. Time and time again, community members step forward saying very clearly, ‘we don’t want that here.'”
The Sheriff’s Office cites numerous marijuana-related violent crimes committed in Mariposa County in years past:
May, 1999, a home invasion robbery occurred in the Fish Camp community. Marijuana plants and money were targeted.
September, 2006, a sixteen year old girl fell victim to a home invasion robbery in the Greeley Hill community. Her parents’ marijuana plants were targeted.
November, 2009, a husband and wife were victims of a home invasion robbery in the Midpines community. Both were assaulted by multiple armed suspects. Marijuana and money were targeted.
April, 2010, a man was shot in the chest while hiking near a wilderness marijuana garden near the Greeley Hill community.
November, 2011, a mother and her ten-year-old daughter were victims of a violent attempted carjacking by armed men involved in a nearby marijuana garden in the Bear Valley community. The carjackers were interested in the vehicle to move harvested marijuana.
These are only a few marijuana related crimes selected from many reported to the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office. In addition there has been a multitude of marijuana plant and marijuana product thefts reported to the Sheriff’s Office.