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MPD makes $300K pot bust
4th major Manteca-Ripon marijuana seizure in month
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Manteca Police confiscated 149 sacks of marijuana buds along with five plants and a bucket of leaves during a 7 a.m. Thursday SWAT team raid in the 5800 block of Carpenter Road near Highway 99 in Modesto. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Manteca Police scored their third major marijuana bust in less than 30 days when the SWAT team served a search warrant at 7 a.m. Thursday netting $300,000 worth of bagged marijuana buds.

The bust was the result of an investigation of illegal marijuana sales in Manteca. It was the fourth pot growing and selling operation broken up by South County law enforcement during the past 30 days.

Very few plants were found on Thursday, according to police, who collected only five and a tub and sack filled with marijuana leaves.

Manteca Detective Sgt. Chris Mraz said their raid was on a single family residence in the 5800 block of Carpenter Road near Highway 99 that also housed a mobile home that had rooms rented out.  Nicolas Serano, 29, of Stockton, was arrested by officers and brought back to Manteca for questioning.  Mraz said Serano actually lives on the Carpenter Road site.

Mraz said the house had a converted garage  that was used in the cutting, bagging and complete processing of the marijuana.  Much of the bud stash was found placed in black athletic style duffle bags, he added.

Mraz noted that two individuals had been involved in the operation but Serano was the only one at the home when they knocked to serve the search warrant.

Manteca Police on Oct. 16 seized 180 pounds of marijuana and a small arsenal of 16 weapons that included three illegal assault rifles during a raid in the 5700 block of Comanche Drive in the Raymus Village neighborhood.

During that raid police found a marijuana grow and processing operation. Also seized were 54 marijuana plants in various ages of maturity, almost a half pound of hashish as well as marijuana sales paraphernalia.

Police on Sept. 25 seized 2,340 marijuana plants from a grow operation at 23000 South Manteca Road. That raid included plants as high as six to 10 feet prompting officers to compare them to Christmas trees.

A fourth pot bust and arrests were made on Oct. 6 in Ripon near the Jimco Truck Stop near Jack Tone Road and Highway 99 in the 100 block of Goodwin Drive where a growing operation was found at a farm house in an almond orchard.  The basement had been used as a starter nursery before the plants were taken outside.

Marijuana seized was valued at $400,000. Some 200 marijuana plants were growing outside while another 200 pounds of dried marijuana and about seven pounds that was processed and packaged was also discovered at the residence.  Officers also found methamphetamine and a .22 caliber handgun that had been reported stolen in Southern California.