LINCOLN (CBS13) – Two people have been arrested after a large marijuana grow in Lincoln was busted thanks to the help of the U.S. Postal Service.
In July, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit received resident complaints of a pot grow at a home on Wise Road. Upon meeting with the owner, Stephen Starner, they found the marijuana grow was actually in compliance with state and county limitations.
But neighbors knew there was more going on.
“A constant stream of cars coming in and out, it looked suspicious to me,” said neighbor Allen Katz.
Katz said at night there was an obvious glow coming from the home.
Meanwhile, the United States Postal Service Inspectors had been investigating the residents at this property. They noticed more than 100 packages being received and sent to addresses out of state, on the East Coast.
“Marijuana was being shipped to Florida and Tennessee and in return substantial amount of cash was being shipped back,” said Lt. Troy Sanders with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators say two incoming cash parcels were seized (containing $9,000 each) and seven outgoing parcels were seized with four pounds of marijuana and approximately ½ pound of processed marijuana concentrate.
On Sept. 27, the Special Operations Unit and U.S. Postal Inspectors served a search warrant at the home where they found approximately 60 marijuana plants, sixty-five pounds of processed marijuana, and concentrated cannabis. They also found firearms, at least two of them assault weapons.
“It scares me cause I’m a grandmother and my grandkids live here, ” says Penny who lives a block away.
Brandon Cronkhite and Joshua Szlachciuk were arrested for numerous charges involving marijuana and possession of illegal firearms.
The men are founders and owner at STKD Martial Arts Studio in Lincoln. The studio was closed Thursday night but neighboring businesses say it’s usually busy with parents dropping off their kids.
“I’ve been talking to them, and they seemed like nice enough guys, nothing to set off red flags,” said John Neilson from the motorcycle shop next door.
The house is also the same house where just last year two young boys, ages 3 and 5, were found dead in a pond after an ATV accident.
Cronkhite and Szlachciuk were booked into the Placer County Jail in Auburn. They have since posted bail.
Stephen Starner was not located at the residence during the time of the search warrant and the investigation is on-going.