US Attorney recognizes Elk Grove PD for outstanding work

justice-department-sealSACRAMENTO, CA – On Monday, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced the 2013 winners of the Eastern District of California Law Enforcement Awards, recognizing the outstanding professionalism and dedicated public safety service of local and state agencies.

In a statement, Wagner announced the winner of the Sacramento Division’s Outstanding Law Enforcement Agency Award as the Elk Grove Police Department for their outstanding work investigating indoor marijuana cultivation and distribution. Because of the Elk Grove Police officers’ investigative skill and tireless effort, case after case was brought to federal court and prosecuted.

Over the last five years, Elk Grove narcotics officers battled residential indoor marijuana growing operations in the City of Elk Grove that left in their wake gutted houses and blighted neighborhoods. These criminal groups were intent on making a fortune illegally growing and selling marijuana and targeted Elk Grove, buying with 100 percent financing or renting houses to grow marijuana. The growing operation attracted the criminal element into the communities and brought with it the crimes associated with this activity. The abandoned and foreclosed houses needed hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs.

One investigation resulted in the arrest and prosecution in federal court of 40 marijuana cultivators. Officers served search warrants at more than 30 houses and seized thousands of marijuana plants, hundreds of pounds of processed marijuana, several hundred thousand dollars in currency, and over a million dollars of cultivation equipment. The most recent investigation involved criminal associates from the Bay Area buying up Elk Grove properties and turning them into indoor growing houses. During the recent takedown, officers arrested all the known co-conspirators in the investigation and dismantled their marijuana grow houses. They also seized more than 3,000 marijuana plants, more than 150 pounds of harvested and packaged marijuana, nearly $100,000 in cash, and seized for forfeiture nine residential properties.

Other winners of the 2013 United States Attorney’s Office-Eastern District of California Law Enforcement Awards are the Fresno Police Department for working with our office to address gang and gun violence, and Bakersfield Police Officer Paul Yoon for his work as the lead task force officer for the Central California Financial Crimes Task Force.


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