Failure to wear a seat belt led to officers making a traffic stop which then led to a major marijuana growing operation on Thursday.
Officer Trinidad Viramontes was patrolling in the 2500 block of Whitmore Avenue in Ceres at 9:24 a.m. when he saw a 2000 Acura being driven by a man who wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
Frank Berber, 31, of Turlock, was unable to produce a driver’s license when stopped, but did show an expired cannabis user card after the officer smelled pot coming from the passenger compartment. Berber showed that he was carrying several ounces of pot. Evidence of pot sales was seized, including packaging materials and over $600 in cash.
A search warrant was served on Berber’s residence in the 2200 block of Oxford Avenue in Turlock. Police confiscated 212 marijuana plants and a Glock handgun.
Exposed electrical wiring led to charges of child endangerment since there was a three-year-old in the house.