By Jennifer Trovato
CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) – At about midnight on April 9th, marijuana, cash, weapons and ammunition were seized in the biggest drug case in Citrus Heights history. The Citrus Heights Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and the Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS) enforcement team were responsible for the investigation that led to the raid and the arrest of two suspects.
“This is by far the largest drug case we’ve ever had here in Citrus Heights,” said CHPD Chief Boyd.
In total, 858 pounds of marijuana with a street value of approximately 2.5 million dollars was seized from an El Dorado Hills residence. The firearms consisted of four semi-automatic handguns, one semi-automatic rifle and two semi-automatic restricted/assault rifles.
The El Dorado Hills residence appears to be the base of the packaging and distribution operation and is suspected to have been in operation since September of 2013. It was not the grow location, which is currently unknown.
31 year old Citrus Heights resident, Jeremy Zahn, was arrested for transportation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and violation of his PRCS condition. He was booked at the Sacramento County Jail. A second suspect, 23 year old Lindsay Loya of Laverne, CA, was arrested on Tuesday, April 22nd in Los Angeles County on Sacramento County warrants for transportation of marijuana and possession for sale of marijuana. An arrest warrant has also been issued for a third, unnamed suspect, who is still at large.
The task force believes that Loya and the third suspect were the main players and that Zahn was working for them.
“At this point, the case has been submitted to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office, but the investigation is continuing,” said Chief Boyd.
A traffic stop on the 8300 Block of Oak Avenue approximately six to eight weeks prior led to the raid of the El Dorado Hills residence. Officers found approximately 48 pounds of packaged, vacuum sealed, processed marijuana in the back of Zahn’s vehicle. The packages consisted of three sealed boxes and all were prepared to ship to out of state addresses. The traffic stop was a result of an on-going SIU/PRCS enforcement team investigation involving Zahn, and led to the issuing of arrest warrants and a search warrant for the El Dorado Hills residence. The SIU and PRCS joined forces with the United States Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the United States Postal Inspection Service within 24 hours of the traffic stop.
Approximately 810 pounds of marijuana was discovered at the El Dorado Hills residence, much of which was hidden behind a false wall. Two large safes contained additional marijuana, seven firearms, ammunition, high capacity magazines, and $464,850.00 in US currency. Evidence seized during the search indicates the suspects had been shipping marijuana outside of California.
The Citrus Heights Police Department’s SIU/ PRCS enforcement team was created in the spirit of agency cooperation, regionalization, and collaboration in response to prison realignment. The unit is a multi-agency team consisting of a Citrus Heights Police sergeant and detectives, a detective from the Folsom Police Department, and a full time assigned Probation Officer from the Sacramento County Probation Department. The mission of the team is to monitor Post–Release Community Supervision offenders. The task force routinely checks on offenders at home and at work, conducts surveillance and gathers and follows evidence.
Prison realignment was instituted to reduce prison populations and became effective on October 1, 2011. PRCS is a new status in addition to probation and parole, and requires that a County agency supervise any convicted felon released from state prison with a committing offense that was non-violent, non-serious, and not a high-risk sex offense, or inmates committed after admitting one serious or violent prior. The Sacramento Probation Department has been designated by the Board of Supervisors as the supervising County agency for the PRCS offender group.
The Citrus Heights Police Department’s investigation is on-going. Anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to contact Sergeant Wheaton of the Citrus Heights Police Department at (916) 727-5500.
Sources: Citrus Heights Police Department; Sacramento County, Sacramento County Community Corrections Partnership.