MADERA COUNTY – A two year-long investigation, led by the Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team (MADNET), has dealt a local blow to what is reportedly a multi-state drug trafficking ring.
Lawrence Alexander Tidwell, 31, a mountain area resident who is a convicted felon, is accused of cultivation of marijuana, possessing marijuana for distribution, and felon in possession of a firearm.
The case against Tidwell was made by MADNET in conjunction with a parallel investigation involving organized crime factions shipping marijuana to regions in the southwest region of the United States.
MADNET, with assistance from DEA agents, recently served a search warrant at an undisclosed residence where they seized 1,200 marijuana plants. Also recovered was evidence reportedly showing the marijuana was being grown for distribution, plus four firearms including an AK-47-style semi-automatic rifle and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Despite Tidwell’s arrest, the investigation is far from over, say officials. Due to the sensitive nature of this case, MADNET is withholding details surrounding the arrest, including where it was carried out, as well as the date and time.
Sheriff John Anderson, who praised the narcotic task force for its steadfast work, urges citizens to contact MADNET’s 24-hour tip line at 559-675-7776 when they have any information concerning illegal drug activity.