Investigation Lands Pot Shop Partner In Jail

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Jim Finnel

Cannabis Warrior - News Moderator
A man associated with two Corning businesses, Tehama Herbal Collective and Advanced Hydroponics, has been arrested for transporting marijuana.

Jason Dean Labonte, 42, of Los Molinos, was arrested by Tehama Interagency Drug Enforcement task force agents on Wednesday following a yearlong investigation.

Eric Maher, task force special agent supervisor, said Tehama Herbal Collective, nor Labonte’s business partners, Ken and Kathy Prather, were involved in the investigation.

The arrest of Labonte took place as undercover task force agents were negotiating purchase of 25 pounds of marijuana at the Motel 6 in Red Bluff, said Maher.

He explained that during the course of the investigation, agents purchased marijuana plants from Labonte on three separate occasions and reported he was transporting and selling multiple pounds of marijuana to individuals in Kansas.

“On one of Mr. Labonte’s return trips from transporting marijuana for sales out of state, he was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol in February on South Avenue near Corning, and agents seized $45,700 during the traffic stop,” Maher said.

On Wednesday, task force agents served search warrants to three different locations in Tehama County with assistance from the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement’s North State Marijuana Investigation Team, drug task forces from Siskiyou,

Shasta, and Glenn counties, Tehama County District Attorney investigators, Tehama County sheriff’s detectives, Corning and Red Bluff police officers and the California Highway Patrol.

Two people, Bret Herlein, 30, and Kodi Herlein, 29, identified during the task force’s investigation as allegedly assisting

Labonte in transporting pot to Kansas, were arrested when agents served a search warrant at their home in the 24800 block of 68th Street, south of Dairyville, where law enforcement reported seizing a small *************** manufacturing laboratory in a travel trailer on the property, Maher said.

The task force supervisor said two children in the Herlein home, ages 4 and 8, were placed in the custody of Tehama County Child Protective Services.

When agents served a search warrant at Labonte’s home on the 10200 block of Highway 99E in Los Molinos , they reported seizing a stolen semi-automatic pistol, 237 marijuana plants, approximately 30 pounds of processed marijuana and evidence of hash-oil manufacturing, said Maher.

Maher said during a search of Advanced Hydroponics, at 1417 Solano St., agents seized documents and financial paperwork related to the investigation.

Agents also seized about $50,000 in cash from three men who arrived from Kansas: Paul Saab, 29, Andrew Walker, 26, and Matthew Rodriguez, 27, to reportedly purchase marijuana from Labonte, according to task force agents.

All three men were arrested and booked into the Tehama County Jail on suspicion of possession for sale of marijuana.

Labonte was booked into the Tehama County Jail on suspicion of transportation of more that 28.5 grams of marijuana. Bail was set at $75,000.

Maher said his agency will request additional charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession for sale of marijuana, cultivation of marijuana, manufacturing a controlled substance and possession of a stolen firearm be filed by the Tehama County District Attorney’s Office.

Both Herleins were booked on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance. Bail was set at $200,000 on each.


NewsHawk: User: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: corning-observer.com
Author: Julie R. Johnson
Copyright: 2010 Freedom Communications
Contact: Contact Us : Corning Observer
Website: Investigation lands pot shop partner in jail | tehama, inv - Local News - Corning Observer

• Thanks to MedicalNeed for submitting this article