TURLOCK (CBS13) — Guns, cocaine and four thousand illegal pot plants — that’s what authorities found inside a Turlock building partially owned by former congressman Jeff Denham.
City officials said this property was being rented out for the last two years and was expected to be sold.READ MORE: Gov. Newsom Announces ‘California Dream Vacations’ COVID-19 Vaccine Initiative
A shop owner nearby told CBS13 he thought the operation was legal.
“Well I knew it was going on from the beginning,” Tony Lopes, owner of a repair shop across the street, said. “As soon as they put the security cameras up, they told me what they were doing. They said they were the only ones in Turlock with a permit.”
Lopes said at first he welcomed the marijuana growers who claimed they had a permit. He said he liked seeing their security cameras.
“With the homeless activity we have on our street, I thought it was going to be an improvement with the cameras,” he said.
But yesterday, the building was surrounded by police who found four thousand illegal marijuana plants inside and more than a hundred pounds of processed marijuana, in addition to cocaine, heroin and other drugsREAD MORE: Popular Big Sur Trail To Reopen After 13-Year Closure
Five people were arrested for their involvement and are now in the Stanislaus County jail.
One nearby business owner had no clue this was going on.
“It’s very hard to tell in this area,” Richard Givargis said. “Southside…you see so many homeless outside.”
The Turlock city attorney said a company called King’s Happy Farm was applying for a permit to cultivate marijuana at this property legally.
The company had been renting the property since 2017 and was planning to buy it, but that sale was contingent upon them getting a permit — which they never did.
“I’m sure Denham is going to put for sale signs upon it again,” Lopes said.MORE NEWS: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Possible?
Former U.S. Representative Jeff Denham is a partial owner of Denham Plastics. CBS13 contacted Denham’s attorney who told us he will not make a comment or answer any questions about whether his client has a connection to King’s Happy Farm or knew anything about what was going on on his property.