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Police bust illegal cannabis operation in Turlock
marijuana bust
Law enforcement officers seized 5,500 marijuana plants on Tuesday during an illegal cannabis cultivation operation bust in Turlock (Photo courtey of TPD).

A multi-law enforcement agencies operation in and around Turlock on Tuesday morning resulted in 5,500 marijuana plants being seized, along with six firearms recovered and four arrests, the Turlock Police Department reported.

The operation was described by the police department as “a sophisticated illegal black-market cannabis cultivation operation.” Illegal cannabis sales have far outpaced legal sales in California. In 2021, an investigation by Politico found that the illegal cannabis market was approaching $8 billion annually, which was twice what the legal market was doing that year. Illegal markets have become the target of the Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce under the California Department of Cannabis Control. The taskforce was founded in 2022 and started operations in 2023.

Among the highlights from the operations in 2023 was the seizure of almost 190,000 pounds of illegal cannabis, the eradication of almost 318,000 plants and the seizure of 119 illegally-possessed firearms.

“California is effectively decreasing the illegal cannabis market by leveraging the strengths and knowledge of over 20 state agencies and departments alongside our local and federal partners. The UCETF’s progress in 2023 reflects California’s ongoing commitment to disrupting  and dismantling illegal cannabis activity,” stated Director Nicole Elliott of Department of Cannabis Control. “I look forward to working with all our partners in 2024 to build on this progress.”

The Turlock operation first came under the notice of the Turlock Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit in February. The investigation revealed multiple addresses affiliated with the target location with five in the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction, two in the City of Turlock, and one in the City of Ceres.

At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday a coordinated effort to serve search warrants at all the locations was initiated. Warrants were served at: 6400 block of West Main Street (Turlock), 700 block of North Faith Home Road (Turlock), 4900 block of South Prairie Flower Road (Turlock), 200 block of South Orange Street (Turlock), and 1300 block of Hackett Road (Ceres).

Arrested were: Brigit Oseguera, 29, Jose Solis-Macedo, 32, Virgilio Jimenez, 37, all from Turlock. They were charged with multiple Health and Safety code violations related to marijuana cultivation, according to the police department. Steven Evans, 62, also from Turlock, was arrested and booked for possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a controlled substance while armed, and Health and Safety code violations. 

The Turlock Police Department partnered with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, Merced County Sheriff’s Office, Ceres Police Department, Modesto Police Department, the California Department of Cannabis Control, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for the execution of these search warrants.

The Turlock Police Department asks that anyone with information about this investigation to contact Investigator Young at (209) 668-6575. You may also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at (209) 668-5550 extension 6780 or email at